Adam Martin writes for MMAOddsbreaker.com. Follow him on Twitter @MMAdamMartin.
UFC Fight Night 30: Lyoto Machida (-360) vs. Mark Munoz (+300)
Lyoto Machida (19-4), the former UFC light heavyweight champion, will be making his long-awaited middleweight debut against Mark Munoz at UFC Fight Night 30 this Saturday.
The 35-year-old Brazilian is one of the most technical and dangerous strikers in the sport of mixed martial arts, someone capable of pulling off some of the craziest strikes ever seen in the sport.
At UFC 129 against Randy Couture, Machida landed the first crane-kick KO in UFC history to earn himself a crack at UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones to regain the belt he lost to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 113. And while he did lost to Jones at UFC 140, he put up a good fight and was thought to be in line for another title shot after picking up wins over Ryan Bader and Dan Henderson.
However, UFC asked him to take another fight, and he ended up losing the gamble as he lost a controversial decision to Phil Davis at UFC 163.
After losing the fight to Davis, UFC asked Machida to move down to 185 and he accepted the offer. He was set to fight Tim Kennedy at UFC Fight Night 31, but after Michael Bisping pulled out of UFC Fight Night 30, the UFC decided to put Machida up against Bisping’s original opponent Munoz.
Munoz (13-3) is one of the top middleweight fighters in the division, having only lost to top-ten ranked Chris Weidman and Yushin Okami.
The 35-year-old is an exceptional wrestler, and he showed at UFC 162 against Tim Boetsch that when his body and mind are fully in synch, he is a force to be reckoned with. And that was one of the issues that Munoz was having heading into UFC 162, as he battled a nasty depression that led him to gain an extraordinary amount of weight after being KO'd by Weidman at UFC on FUEL TV 4.
But it was clear against Boetsch that Munoz has put those problems behind him and is ready to move on with his career.
Against Machida, Munoz has an opportunity to atone for losing to Weidman, but it’s a tough match-up. Although Munoz has very good wrestling, Machida is fantastic at stopping takedowns and if Munoz can’t get the fight to the mat, he’s going to be at a significant disadvantage on the feet.
We’ll see what happens this weekend, but based on everything I know, I don’t like Munoz’s chances in this one.