UFC Fight Night 41 Preview

ufc_fn41The middleweight division continues to sort itself out with Chris Weidman now sitting on top of the division. As fighters continue to sort themselves into the proper spots there will be two fighters that will face off at very different points in their careers. Mark Munoz and Gegard Mousasi are both veteran fighters and are both looking to continuing moving up the division rankings but they have had different paths to this point. For Mousasi the road has been a long one as he would start fighting in 2003 and would only join the UFC in 2013 to begin his run at a UFC title. After a long time running through the lower ranks of the MMA world Mousasi would have a highly anticipated debut in the UFC beating Ilir Latifi. His rise up the division would hit a bump in his last fight though when he would lose to Lyoto Machida in a fight that would earn Machida a title shot. Mousasi now looks to get back on track and move into the top 10 in the division and continue his long march to a title shot. Mark Munoz, on the other hand, would start his UFC career much earlier after only two professional fights. From the start Munoz would be a streaky fighter but he would work his way to the top of the division. During 2011 Munoz would make a run at the title and would be considered one of the top fighters in the division. He seemed only a few fights away from earning a title shot but injuries and losses to Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida would end his run early. Munoz has spent a lot of time out of the octagon with injury problems as the one time future title contender has only had three fights since 2012. The injury issues have been one of the biggest obstacles to get over for Munoz as he continues to try to get back on track towards the title. Both fighters have had a long road to where they are at today and they are hoping to add another win to their records as they try to climb back into the title race in the middleweight division. The matchup itself will pit a ground and pound specialist against a well-rounded fighter who prefers to stay standing. It will be a true test for Mousasi as he goes up against one of the most decorated NCAA Division-I fighters in the UFC. Munoz was a two-time all American and won multiple Big 12 titles in his time at Oklahoma State and he has converted that experience into becoming a great ground and pound fighter. Before his injuries Munoz could have been considered the best ground and pound fighter in the UFC but since the injuries he has struggled to get his dominance back. Meanwhile Mousasi has shown time and time again that he is one of the more technical stand-up fighters in the division. Although he has the ability to take the fight and finish it on the ground but he is clearly comfortable on the feet and can pick apart his opponents. He would also be smart to avoid the wrestling game of Munoz as he is still a great wrestler and can take the advantage if the fight goes t the ground. Both fighters know what is at stake in this fight as a win can put them among the top fighters in the division but a loss can drop them far from the title shot both are seeking. The fight is an important one for both fighters as they have struggled to gain momentum despite being very talented fighters. As both of these fighters face off it will likely turn into who can get the fight to where they want it to go. For this main even it will be Gegard Mousasi who will be able to keep the fight standing and earn a spot in the top 10 with a KO win in the 2nd round.

The co-main event of the evening will see a top contender in the welterweight division try to come back into the top of the division. Francis Carmont seemed sure to get a title shot in the very near future after a 6-fight win streak in the UFC. He would take on a beat some great fighters including Costas Philippou and Tom Lawlor. As he continued to march towards the eventual title shot he would begin to step up in competition. His last fight would see him face another top contender in Ronaldo Souza and would fall for the first time in the UFC. His title hopes would take a step backwards as his first major test in the division. Now he will need to fight back and get into the title hunt again as he hopes to use the loss against Souza as a learning experience. To get back on track Carmont will have to beat UFC veteran CB Dollaway who is looking to add Carmont to his wins list and earn a spot among the ranked fighters. Dollaway has been fighting in the UFC since 2008 when he made the TUF 7 finale but lost to Amir Sadollah. Still he has yet to get into the rankings with an inconsistent run in the promotion. He will look to prove that he belongs among the top fighters when he takes on Carmont and beats a top 10 fighter in the division. Dollaway is simply looking for some respect in the division while Carmont is looking to get back to the respect he was getting before his first loss. The matchup will be a classic one as Dollaway is a wrestler and Carmont is striker as the two styles will once again clash in the octagon with only one coming out on top to move up in the middleweight division.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz vs. Gegard “The Dreamcatcher” Mousasi (UFC Fight Pass)

Main Card:
Francis “Limitless” Carmont vs. CB “The Doberman” Dolloway (UFC Fight Pass)

Luke “The Bigslow” Barnatt vs. Sean “Tarzan” Strickland (UFC Fight Pass)

Tom “Stoneface” Niinimaki vs. Niklas Backstrom (UFC Fight Pass)

Undercard:
Nick Hein vs. Drew Dober (UFC Fight Pass)

Magnus “Jycken” Cedenblad vs. Krzyzstof Jotko (UFC Fight Pass)

Vaughan Lee vs. Iuri “Marajo” Alcantara (UFC Fight Pass)

Peter Sobotta vs. Pawel Pawlak (UFC Fight Pass)

Andy “The Little Axe” Ogle vs. Maximo “Maxi” Blanco (UFC Fight Pass)

Viktor Pesta vs. Ruslan Magomedov (UFC Fight Pass)

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