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UFC 96: Previewing and Predicting Mark Munoz vs. Matt Hamill

Over the next three days, will be releasing its preview and picks for UFC 96 on a match-by-match basis.

We will commence our special series with a look at the UFC 96 light heavyweight main card fight between two former amateur wrestling standouts.

Matt Hamill (5-2) vs. Mark Munoz (5-0)

A former NCAA wrestling champion in 1999 at 197 pounds while competing at Oklahoma State, Munoz is one of the brightest light heavyweight prospects in all of MMA.

Currently training under Urijah Faber out of Faber’s Ultimate Fitness gym in Sacramento, UFC 96 will mark the Filipino-American’s UFC debut.

Munoz is making the move to the Octagon after going 2-0 for Zuffa-owned World Extreme Cagefighting. As high as Munoz’s upside is though, one has to wonder if he might not have benefitted by the WEC keeping its 205 pound division in business for a little longer.

While he’s an amazing athlete, five fights as a pro is not an ideal amount to have when making your UFC debut. Fortunately, UFC Vice President of Talent Relations Joe Silva has found a great matchup for him in Hamill.

Hamill does a lot of the same things that Munoz does, except that Munoz does them better. Munoz also is a better tactical fighter and should have a signfiicant cardio advantage.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure where this fight will be contested but whether the majority of the bout takes place on the ground or on the mat, I see Munoz winning wherever the fight goes.

Final Prediction: Munoz via unanimous decision.

  • Cathedron says:

    I’m expecting this to be all standup. I expect this to be a classic case of two good grapplers nullifying each other’s ground game. Add in Hamill’s tendancy to keep the fight standing lately (even when he would’ve had an advantage on the ground) and you’ve got the makings of a standup war except that Munoz is just a little bit better at the striking. I’m picking Munoz via TKO late in Rd 2.

  • Brandomania says:

    As much as I can appreciate Munoz, Hamill is going to win…2nd round TKO. Hamill will not have the UFC jitters and I think he is going to pull it out.


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