Filipino fighter and Middleweight contender, Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz will fight in the main event at UFC 138, November 5th, in Birmingham, England. His opponent is Chris “The Crippler” Leben, who is coming off a 21 second knock out win over MMA Legend, Wanderlei Silva.
What makes this a historical fight, is that it will be UFC’s first non-title fight scheduled for five rounds. The rule used to be that all non-title fights were three, five minute rounds and only match ups with the championship on the line were allowed a fourth and fifth round. UFC President, Dana White made the announcement early June, that non-title main events will go five rounds, and Munoz versus Leben will be the first ones with that honor.
Munoz is known to have the most vicious ground and pound in the Middleweight Division. If he can fight smart and take Leben down, he will win this fight. As for Chris Leben’s key to winning, he needs to turn this fight into a brawl and try to catch Munoz with one of those heavy hands.
As for five round fights with no belt up for grabs, I’m all for it. Looking back at some of UFC’s close fights, poor decisions and draws, I’ve made a list of my Top Five Fights that could have used the two extra rounds.
5) Brandon Vera vs Randy Couture at UFC 105
– Vera lost this fight by a split decision, but I had him winning rounds 2 and 3. Couture clinched Vera against the cage for most of the fight, but Vera hurt Couture in the second round and did more damage in the third. If this went two more rounds, I believe, Brandon Vera would have taken it by TKO
4) Martin Kampmann vs Diego Sanchez at UFC on Versus 3
-Kampmann lost by split decision though many felt he won the fight. Kampann spent the first round battering Sanchez, but Diego wouldn’t back down. Sanchez kept moving forward and bringing the fight to Kampman. Two more rounds are exactly what this fight needed.
3) Lyoto Machida vs Rampage Jackson at UFC 123.
-In another controversial split decision, Jackson was awarded the victory over Machida. The first two rounds were more of a staring contest than a fight, but the third round Machida came alive and rocked Rampage. If it went to a fourth round, I’m not sure Jackson would have survived.
2) BJ Penn vs Jon Fitch at UFC 127
-This is a fight that ended as a draw. The first two rounds were even as these welterweights battled on the ground. Then the third round, Fitch dominated in a 10-8 round. Even though it seemed to give him the edge, the judges saw the fight as a draw. Two more rounds would have spelled doom for BJ Penn, as he already had nothing left in the gas tank for round three.
1) Tito Ortiz vs Rashad Evans at UFC 73
-This was a fight Tito Ortiz would have won, had he not been docked a point for grabbing the fence. Two more rounds would have let us know for sure if Ortiz could beat Evans. However, due to an injury to Phil Davis, we’ll get three rounds instead, as Tito Ortiz has stepped up to face Rashad Evans in a rematch at UFC 133 August 6th. So the man that was on the verge of getting the boot from the UFC, could find himself in title contention if he beats Evans.
From these five fights and along with so many others, the rule change to make non-title Main Events five rounds works so well. I am very happy with the UFC’s decision to make the change. Now how do let’s find a way to get them to implement sudden death rounds for draws.