UFC books Dominick Cruz – Pedro Munhoz

Dominick Cruz

The UFC has finalized a fun matchup in the bantamweight division. MMA Fighting was the first to report yesterday that the promotion had finalized a matchup between former UFC champion Dominick Cruz (23-3) and Pedro Munhoz (19-6, 1 NC).

The matchup will take place at UFC 269 on December 11th. This announcement came as a surprise for a lot of fans. Pedro Munhoz had been leaning towards moving down to the flyweight division after his last fight.

Munhoz was perhaps just a win away from a title shot at 135 back in 2019. He got the win of his career when he knocked out former UFC champion Cody Garbrandt in the first round which set up a fight against Aljamain Sterling.

However, it hasn’t been as smooth sailing for Munhoz after that matchup. Starting with the Sterling fight, Munhoz has gone 1-3 in his last four. The most recent matchup took place at UFC 265 when he took on Jose Aldo.

Aldo outclassed Munhoz on the feet and after the fight was over, Munhoz said he was going to drop to flyweight. However, there’s been a change of plans after he was offered to fight another former UFC champion.

What does UFC 269 mean for Dominick Cruz?

It’s been quite the roller coaster for Dominick Cruz in the UFC. At one point, he was considered to be on the road to being one of the best the sport has ever seen. However, injuries completely derailed his career.

Despite that, he’s still put together a Hall of Fame UFC resume. Cruz returned earlier this year when he took on Casey Kenney at UFC 259. For Cruz, it was the first time that he had fought twice in a 12 month period since back in 2016.

Cruz was able to edge out Kenney by a decision. After he got the win, he made it clear that he wants to continue climbing the ladder, but he didn’t say at what pace. Taking on Pedro Munhoz is a step up, but it’s not jumping to the top of the division.

Should Cruz pick up the win at UFC 269, I would expect a jump. However, if he falls short, that might spell the end of his career. I’m expecting a very game Munhoz which should make for a very fun fight in December.

UFC: Pedro Munhoz contemplating a move to flyweight

Pedro Munhoz, UFC

It looks like one of the top ten contenders in the UFC‘s bantamweight division is considering a change in weight. For the last several years, Pedro Munhoz (19-6, 1 NC) has been one of the toughest outs in the bantamweight division.

Munhoz made his UFC debut back in 2014 at UFC 170 when he took on top contender Raphael Assuncao. That night, Munhoz lost by decision and suffered the first loss of his career.

Since that night, Munhoz has gone 9-5, 1 NC in ten fights with the UFC. Granted three of those losses were razor close split decision losses. Every loss that Munhoz has had in the bantamweight division has come against top competition.

Starting in 2016, Munhoz went on the best run of his career. He went 7-1 with his lone loss coming by way of split decision to former title challenger John Dodson. However, two of the wins he had during that stretch really stand out.

Munhoz submitted Rob Font in the first round and he also knocked out former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt in the first round. However, since that Garbrandt victory, Munhoz is just 1-3 in his last four fights.

UFC contender moving down?

Most recently, Munhoz took on former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 265 a couple of weeks ago. Aldo used his speed and precision striking to fluster Munhoz over the course of three rounds.

While Munhoz had his moments here and there, the fight was largely dominated by Aldo. Today, the UFC released their “Thrill and Agony” video that they normally release following a PPV card.

The behind the scenes video highlights the emotions of fighters on both the winning and losing end of a fight. During the video, the camera caught up to Aldo and Munhoz talking after their fight at UFC 265.

Munhoz said to Aldo, “I might go down to flyweight.” Aldo then said to Munhoz that he thought it might be a good idea. While Munhoz hasn’t stated anything publicly, the move would seemingly make sense.

Munhoz is not a very big bantamweight compared to some of the other guys in the UFC. He definitely looks like he can make 125 pounds. If he does move, he would follow Cody Garbrandt who also moved down to 125 pounds.

Garbrandt has his UFC flyweight debut against Kai Kara-France booked for December. If Garbrandt picks up a win in that matchup, perhaps the UFC runs things back between Munhoz and Garbrandt at 125 pounds.

After sensational performance at UFC 265, what’s next for Jose Aldo?

This past Saturday at UFC 265 in the co-main event, Jose Aldo (30-7) took on Pedro Munhoz (19-6). Aldo was looking to pickup his second win in the bantamweight division while Pedro Munhoz was looking for the biggest win of his UFC career.

Heading into this fight, the betting odds were basically dead even. We’ve seen Pedro Munhoz perform at a high level in the bantamweight division for a while now. Munhoz held wins over the likes of Jimmie Rivera and former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt.

While Aldo is a legend of the UFC, he’s still relatively unproven at bantamweight. The former featherweight champion was 1-2 in three fights leading into UFC 265. Granted, he should be 2-1, but he was robbed against Marlon Moraes.

This fight with Munhoz was going to tell us a lot about the former champion and the fight did just that. Aldo put on one of the best performances he’s had in a long time at UFC 265.

For all three rounds, his lightening fast combinations proved to be too much for Munhoz. Munhoz had success here and there, but for the most part, Saturday night was all about The King of Rio.

What’s next after UFC 265?

After the fight was over, there was one name that Aldo had in mind. Aldo wanted a shot against former UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw (17-4). He wanted the two of them to fight in a title eliminator.

While that doesn’t sound like a bad idea, it won’t be able to happen. Dillashaw tore some ligaments in his knee during his win over Cory Sandhagen a couple of weeks ago. Dillashaw is sidelined three months and when he returns, he’s getting a UFC title shot.

With that, Aldo will have to look at a different opponent. To me, there are two names that make a lot of sense. Rob Font (19-4) is one of the names that stands out. Font has won four fights in a row to put himself right into the title picture.

He’s known for his sensational boxing and a matchup between him and Aldo would be must-see. Another option for Aldo could be a fight with Dominick Cruz (23-3). At one point, Cruz vs Aldo was considered to be a UFC superfight.

However, both are in much different spots in their careers now. Aldo is near the top of the division at 135 and Cruz is making his way back up the latter. Perhaps the UFC decides to have these legends fight it out for a shot at a title eliminator next.

Jose Aldo outclasses Pedro Munhoz at UFC 265

In the co-main event of UFC 265, we saw big time matchup in the bantamweight division. Former featherweight champion Jose Aldo (29-7) returned as he took on Pedro Munhoz (19-5).

Pedro Munhoz was looking for the biggest win of his UFC career. The last time we saw Munhoz was back in February when he took on Jimmie Rivera. That night, Munhoz used a steady diet of leg kicks to get the win.

That win snapped a two-fight skid for Pedro Munhoz. The former UFC featherweight champion is in a very similar position as Munhoz. The last time we saw Jose Aldo was back in December when he defeated Chito Vera by decision.

That win by Aldo snapped a three-fight losing streak including his first two fights at bantamweight. Granted, I’ll still maintain to this day that Jose Aldo defeated Marlon Moraes in his UFC bantamweight debut.

UFC 265 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 265 co-main event kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Munhoz starts the striking with a spinning back kick tot he body. Lots of pressure and volume early from Pedro Munhoz. Leg kick from Munhoz as Aldo is remaining patient.

Munhoz looks to move forward behind two jabs. Aldo rips to the body to get his striking started. Nice jab lands for Aldo and he checks a leg kick from Munhoz. Munhoz throws another spinning kick, but easily blocked by Aldo.

Aldo is block and checking every kick Munhoz is throwing right now. Nasty knee to the body lands for Jose Aldo. Aldo rips to the body with a hook. Speed advantage early on belongs to the former UFC featherweight champion.

Good right hand lands for Aldo. He follows that up with a check left hook that lands on Munhoz. Munhoz tries to land a right as Aldo circles, but falls short. Another vicious shot to the body lands for Jose Aldo.

Steady body work from Aldo here late in the round. Munhoz just misses a huge right and Aldo counters with two big hooks to the body. Both exchange big shots as the round ends. Good moments for both, but should be 1-0 Aldo at UFC 265.

Round 2

The first round at UFC 265 was pretty close, but Aldo’s speed is definitely an advantage heading into round two. Aldo doubles up on the jab to start the striking in the second. Munhoz lands a nice left hook to start his striking.

Powerful low kick lands for Aldo. Munhoz steps in and lands a good body shot of his own. Aldo lands three straight left hands on Munhoz. Munhoz tries to push forward, but Aldo rips a vicious combination to the body.

Spinning kick for Munhoz misses it’s mark. Munhoz steps forward with an uppercut that grazes Aldo. Aldo pops him with a jab, but Munhoz lands a really nice right hand. Another stiff jab from the former UFC champion.

Leg kick for Munhoz and Aldo is looking a little tired here in the second round. Powerful kick lands for Aldo and Munhoz tries to counter over the top. Nice jab for Aldo lands, but Munhoz keeps pushing with a ton of pressure.

Both men push the other back with stiff jabs. Another vicious combination to the body lands for Aldo. Aldo outlanding Munhoz as the second round is nearing it’s end. Big right lands for Aldo at the end of the round and it should be 2-0 Aldo at UFC 265.

Round 3

Entering the final round at UFC 265 and Pedro Munhoz needs a finish on my scorecard. Both men embrace to start the final round and here we go. Pedro Munhoz moves forward, but Aldo landed three insanely powerful combinations to start the striking.

Amazed that Munhoz was able to take all of those shots from Aldo. Munhoz keeps pushing forward and he tries a jump kick that misses badly. Leg kick lands for Jose Aldo. Aldo keeps Munhoz at distance with his jab.

Nice shot to the body lands for Aldo. Three minutes left and Aldo lands a big leg kick and he follows it with three jabs. Another huge combination from Aldo, but Pedro Munhoz just eats it and keeps pushing forward.

Aldo unloading on Munhoz here in the third. Munhoz then lands a massive right hand of his own that gets respect from Aldo. Aldo drops Munhoz with a powerful leg kick and throws a combination as Munhoz gets up.

Huge right hand from Aldo and Aldo follows it with a combination. The speed of Aldo is something to behold here at UFC 265. One minute left and Munhoz is going to need a miracle here.

Munhoz pushes forward, but he isn’t throwing much here. Another miss on a spinning kick from Munhoz. Aldo rips a massive combination and lands on Munhoz. The chin of Munhoz was tested, but he makes it to the end.

Jose Aldo def. Pedro Munhoz by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

UFC 265 Preview: Jose Aldo – Pedro Munhoz

Tomorrow night in the co-main event of UFC 265, we will see a big time matchup in the bantamweight division. Former featherweight champion Jose Aldo (29-7) is back as he’s taking on Pedro Munhoz (19-5).

Pedro Munhoz is going to be looking for the biggest win of his UFC career tomorrow night. The last time we saw Munhoz was back in February when he took on Jimmie Rivera. That night, Munhoz used a steady diet of leg kicks to get the win.

That win snapped a two-fight skid for Pedro Munhoz. The former UFC featherweight champion is in a very similar position as Munhoz. The last time we saw Jose Aldo was back in December when he defeated Chito Vera by decision.

That win by Aldo snapped a three-fight losing streak including his first two fights at bantamweight. Granted, I’ll still maintain to this day that Jose Aldo defeated Marlon Moraes in his bantamweight debut.

Both men are coming off of a big win leading into UFC 265 and there’s a lot on the line. Whoever wins tomorrow night should be inching ever closer to a shot at the bantamweight title.

UFC 265 Prediction

I cannot wait for these two to fight tomorrow night at UFC 265. To me, this fight has Fight of The Night potential and it’ll be very interesting to see their strategies.

It’s crazy to think that Jose Aldo is just getting ready to turn 35 years old. The former UFC featherweight king rose to the top of the sport so young and at just 34 years old now, he still has plenty of fight in him.

Pedro Munhoz has always been that contender that’s been on the verge of breaking out, but has slipped in some big spots. As mentioned, UFC 265 gives him the opportunity to win the biggest fight of his career.

When looking this fight, I think were going to see a standup war tomorrow night. Ultimately, I like the speed and efficiency of Jose Aldo. While Pedro Munhoz has made strides and he’s tough as hell, I like the crisp technique of Aldo. I’m expecting the former champion to win his second straight tomorrow night.

Prediction: Jose Aldo by Unanimous Decision

UFC books Jose Aldo – Pedro Munhoz

The UFC has finalized a big time matchup in the bantamweight division. Combate was the first to report today that the promotion has finalized a bantamweight matchup between Jose Aldo (29-7) and Pedro Munhoz (19-5, 1 NC).

The two top eight bantamweights will meet at UFC 265 on August 7th. Pedro Munhoz will be trying to pickup his second consecutive win as he tries to become a title contender at 135 pounds.

We last saw Munhoz in February when he had his rematch with Jimmie Rivera. Munhoz used his devastating leg kicks to chop down Rivera and pick up a decision win. That win was Munhoz’s first win since UFC 235 in March of 2019.

Prior to that victory, Munhoz had lost decisions to Frankie Edgar and Aljamain Sterling. Before losing those two fights in a row, Munhoz had a knockout win over former UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt.

This is a massive opportunity for Munhoz against one of the bigger names in the division. If he can defeat Aldo in August, Munhoz will likely be in a good position to get a title eliminator in his next matchup.

UFC 265

Jose Aldo will also be looking to pick up his second consecutive win at UFC 265. Aldo picked up his first victory in the bantamweight division back in December when he defeated Chito Vera by decision.

The long-time featherweight champion made the drop to bantamweight late in 2019. At UFC 245, Aldo took on Marlon Moraes in his divisional debut. Aldo lost a decision, but the majority of people believe that he won the fight.

In fact, despite losing, Aldo’s next fight was for the bantamweight title. Aldo lost to Petr Yan at UFC 251 in his bid to become a champion in his second weight class. After that loss, Aldo reset prior to his fight with Chito Vera.

There’s no questioning the fact that Aldo has slowed down a little since the days of his prime. However, even with him slowing down, he’s still one of the very best the UFC has to offer. If he can defeat Munhoz in August, he will be right back in the title conversation at 135 pounds.

After another win at UFC Vegas 25, what’s next for Merab Dvalishvili?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 25, a good bantamweight contest kicked off the main card. Merab Dvalishvili (13-4) took on Cody Stamann (19-4-1). These two were paired up twice before, but the fight fell through both times.

Finally, at UFC Vegas 25 we saw the two of them go head-to-head. Stamann was looking to bounce back after just his second loss in the octagon. Dvalishvili on the other hand was looking to pick up his sixth straight win in the UFC.

When Dvalishvili made his octagon debut a few years ago, it didn’t start well. Dvalishvili lost his first two fights inside the octagon. However, since that second loss, Dvalishvili has completely turned things around.

Dvalishvili pushes a pace that very few can match and he’s showing that he can be a handful in the UFC‘s bantamweight division. I was so intrigued by the grappling of these two considering how good of wrestlers they both are.

Throughout the fight, we saw the wrestling of each man cancel the other out at times. However, Dvalishvili was still able to get Stamann down several times. He had issues keeping him on the ground, but he was relentless with his attacks.

The activity, the pressure, and the pace that Dvalishvili is a problem for all UFC bantamweights. In the end, Dvalishvili walked away with the unanimous decision victory and now he’s won six straight.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 25?

The UFC rankings just updated and Dvalishvili moved up to the eleventh spot in the rankings. Having won six in a row, it’s a tad surprising he didn’t crack the top ten, but he’s right there.

So, what should the UFC do with him next? Well, I really like a potential matchup between Dvalishvili and Pedro Munhoz (19-5, 1 NC). Munhoz just defeated Jimmie Rivera back in February which snapped a two-fight losing streak.

He’s currently ranked eighth in the UFC’s bantamweight division and he needs a quality next opponent. A matchup between Dvalishvili and Munhoz would really tell you a lot about both men.

Considering their spots, whoever would win a potential matchup between the two would be in a great position at 135. Perhaps a top five opponent would be waiting the winner. Dvalishvili needs a step up in competition, and I think Pedro Munhoz is it.

State of the bantamweight division after UFC 259

UFC 259 was supposed to provide some clarity in the bantamweight division. While Petr Yan (15-2) was the champion, many questioned how legit he was as the champion seeing as the two wins he had leading to the title came against Urijah Faber and Jose Aldo (29-7).

While both are great former champions, neither are considered to be the cream of the crop at 135 pounds. Aljamain Sterling (20-3) on the other hands was considered by everyone to be the number one contender.

Sterling had been on an incredible run and was expected to be the biggest challenge for Yan. Had Yan defeated Sterling, you couldn’t question the legitimacy of his title reign. Well, for almost four rounds at UFC 259, it looked like we were heading that direction.

Aljamain Sterling was putting up a good fight, but Petr Yan was in control on Saturday night. Sterling was fading badly and it looked like we were getting close to a potential Petr Yan stoppage win. However, that’s when chaos erupted.

With about 30 seconds left in the fourth round, Aljamain Sterling was grounded with one knee on the floor. Yan looked to his corner for instructions and someone said he was good to throw a knee. Yan launched a knee that hit Sterling flush in the temple.

That knee ultimately prevented Sterling from being able to continue. As a result, Yan was disqualified and Sterling won the title. While Sterling was on his way to losing, he gets a DQ win and walked out of UFC 259 the bantamweight champion.

State of the UFC’s bantamweight division

With all of this controversy, Dana White said that the UFC will immediately book the rematch between Sterling and Yan. While Sterling has the title, there’s virtually no one that views him as the champion with him winning in that fashion.

To me, it’s almost like the title is vacant. I don’t think either man should have the title at the moment, but my opinion doesn’t matter. Sterling will go into the rematch with Yan as the bantamweight champion.

With that rematch in the works, the UFC will now look to book Cory Sandhagen (14-2) against former champion, TJ Dillashaw (16-4). Dillashaw is eligible to fight now that he’s off suspension and Dana White said he would be in a title eliminator in his first fight back.

Considering the spots in the division, it appears that Dillashaw and Sandhagen are on a collision course. The next spot in the rankings belongs to Rob Font (18-4). In my opinion, I would love to see Font fight former UFC champion, Cody Garbrandt (12-3) next.

However, Garbrandt has been chasing a fight with Jose Aldo next. If that happens, Font will need a new fight. Based on the rankings, the only fight that would make sense for Font is Pedro Munhoz (19-5, 1 NC).

Munhoz is in the top ten and he’s coming off of a very impressive win against Jimmie Rivera. Prior to that he lost a debatable decision to Frankie Edgar. Had that decision gone towards Munhoz, he’d be in the top five right now. The promotion will get these guys paired up and it should be an exciting 2021 at 135.

After coming up short at UFC Vegas 20, what’s next for Jimmie Rivera?

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 20, Jimmie Rivera (23-5) and Pedro Munhoz (19-5, 1 NC) went to battle for the second time. The two men had previously fought back in 2015 with Jimmie Rivera edging out a split decision victory.

It was apparent from the opening bell that this fight would go a little differently. Like the first fight, this fight was very competitive. However, from the first round at UFC Vegas 20, Pedro Munhoz had the advantage.

Rivera was able to land some big punches early on, but Munhoz was doing serious damage with calf kicks. By the end of the first round, Rivera was walking with a limp and was trying to disguise how badly he was hurt.

From that moment on, Rivera couldn’t get any momentum going. Munhoz seemed to be getting the better of the exchanges due to the fact that Rivera couldn’t plant down on his shots.

In the final round at UFC Vegas 20, Jimmie Rivera did go for it. He was swinging with everything he had trying to get the finish he needed, but it wasn’t enough. In the end, Pedro Munhoz walked away with a unanimous decision victory.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 20?

Jimmie Rivera started his UFC career at 5-0. At that point in his career, he was 21-1 heading into a matchup against Marlon Moraes. Since that matchup, Jimmie Rivera is just 2-4 in six matchups.

However, it is worth noting that all four of the losses came against guys who are inside the UFC’s top eight at bantamweight. Rivera has only lost to some of the elites in the division so it’s not time to write off El Terror just yet.

With the loss, I think you need to look down in the divisional rankings for his next matchup. One fight I would be interested in is seeing Rivera take on Chito Vera (16-7-1). Vera has looked great over the last couple of years and he’s 15th in the division.

He’s coming off of a loss as well so the timing makes sense. Another potential matchup could be Rivera against Merab Dvalishvili (12-4). Merab has won five in a row and he’s currently ranked 12th. From a rankings perspective, this could be the angle the UFC goes with.

After snapping losing streak at UFC Vegas 20, what’s next for Pedro Munhoz?

Pedro Munhoz, UFC

This past Saturday at UFC Vegas 20, we got to see the highly anticipated rematch between Pedro Munhoz (19-5, 1 NC) and Jimmie Rivera (23-5). The two men had previously met in 2015 and prior to this, their rematch had fallen through every time the UFC tried to book it.

Well, the rematch was worth the wait. From the opening bell at UFC Vegas 20, both guys were slinging heat. Rivera was able to crack Munhoz with some serious punches throughout the fight. However, Munhoz’s primary weapon was doing the most damage.

As soon as the fight started, Munhoz started working the low calf kick. This kick has revolutionized the sport over the last year or so and it made an impact very quickly on Saturday night. Rivera stands heavy on his front foot with relying on his boxing power.

This left his calf exposed for powerful kicks. Halfway through the first round, Rivera was already exploring with changing stances and limping. Throughout the rest of the fight, Munhoz continued to work that leg and it limited Rivera’s ability to attack.

While Rivera did have moments where he landed good shots, he couldn’t string together enough attacks. Munhoz peppered him throughout and was able to avenge his loss in their first fight and snap his two-fight losing streak in the UFC.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 20?

UFC Vegas 20 was a must-win for Pedro Munhoz. Munhoz wasn’t in danger of getting cut had he lost, but if he wants to be a serious contender, he couldn’t afford to lose three fights in a row.

With this win, Munhoz is in a little bit of an awkward spot in the division. Most of the guys in front of him are either coming off losses or are currently booked. I don’t believe he’s going to get a top five opponent unless that person is coming off of a loss.

With that in mind, I think the UFC will explore a couple of options. One option would be the winner of the Dominick Cruz – Casey Kenney fight. More than likely it would make sense if Cruz wins that fight.

Another potential option for Munhoz could be the loser of this weekend’s title fight. I’m sure the UFC will find Munhoz a great option for his next fight. He’s said that he wanted to fight TJ Dillashaw, however, I think the promotion has other plans for Dillashaw at this time.