Opportunities to fight in the UFC are more valuable than gold to most mixed martial arts fighters and are usually snatched up in haste, regardless of the notice, weight class or opponent. Roan Carneiro jumped at the chance to return to the UFC this year, after six years away from the top promotion.
The opportunity came with a catch, however, as the Brazilian was matched up against Mark Munoz at middleweight, a full 15 pounds higher than Carneiro’s usual welterweight class. No doubt that the 36-year-old is brimming with confidence after beating three men in a single night last October in the Battlegrounds 170-pound tournament.
Still, Munoz believes that he’ll have a huge size and strength advantage this Saturday at UFC 184 in Los Angeles, and that it was a mistake for Carneiro to take the fight with him. "Yeah, I truly believe that [I’ll have a strength advantage]," Munoz tells FOX Sports.
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"Because I’m a big middleweight. For him to come up to middleweight from welterweight is a big jump for him, especially in the UFC. He fought a few times in the UFC at welterweight. The gap is huge. I know he wanted to jump at the opportunity to fight in the UFC again; unfortunately for him, fighting me is not the way to do it."
Munoz is looking forward to his own opportunities at UFC 184. First off, he hopes to snap a two-fight losing streak.
Secondly, he’s excited at the prospect of putting on a great show near his hometown in Southern California. "I love it," Munoz beams.
"To be able to fight in front of friends and family, man, it’s unreal. To fight in front of a home crowd gives me a home field advantage. There is no pressure added, it’s just added motivation. I tend to always look on the brighter side of things. Every time I wrestled at home, I did well. It’s the same thing for me, here. I’m looking to do the same thing here at the Staples Center. I’m going to relish this opportunity."