It’s that time again as we head into the UFC 138: Munoz vs. Leben event that will take place in Birmingham, England, United Kingdom, at the LG Arena on Saturday night. The event has been heavily scrutinized due to its lack of star power, but it will air for FREE on Spike TV via tape delay here in the United States. There’s only one heavyweight fight and one light heavyweight fight on the card with the rest of the event featuring fighters in the lighter weight classes, which should bode well in regards to exciting fights. There’s no title on the line but the main event could have title implications in the near future. There’s a few guys trying to assert themselves within their divisions respectively, so we’ll concentrate on those storylines here.
Munoz only has one loss as a middleweight which was a split decision loss to former #1 contender Yushin Okami. He bested former #1 contender Demian Maia in his last outing and is currently the highest ranked middleweight that has not earned a title shot against the champion Anderson Silva. He’ll be facing the iron chinned Chris Leben who has won 4 out of his last 5 inside the octagon. Leben has only been finished four times in his career, so if Munoz is able to accomplish that it would certainly boost his stock even more.
- Thiago Alves looks to right his ship after losing 3 out of his last 4 fights.
Alves has been a top ten welterweight for quite some time, but hasn’t been fighting like one lately. Alves has lost 3 out of his last 4 fights including his title shot loss to Georges St. Pierre back at UFC 100 in 2009. It was discovered that Alves had a brain irregularity that required surgery after that fight, and it seems that Alves hasn’t been able to get back on track since. Alves will be facing undefeated newcomer Papy Abedi(8-0), a clear sign that the UFC may think Alves better days are behind him even though he’s only 28 years old.
- Terry Etim looks put himself back in the UFC lightweight mix after being away from the cage due to injuries.
Etim was on quite a roll before losing his last fight against Raphael dos Anjos(who is no joke) back at UFC 112. Prior to that loss he had won 4 fights in a row and really seemed to be finding his footing within the division. Etim is only 25 years old and still have time to make waves provided he gets the right kind of training. He’ll be facing Edward Faaloloto who has lost both his fights since being signed by Zuffa last year. It’s a fight that Etim should win, but cage rust is real and anything can happen in a MMA fight. It’s likely Faaloloto’s last fight should he lose, so he’ll be going all out to get the win.
Also be on the lookout for Anthony Njokuani who is an absolute beast of a striker in the UFC lightweight division. He gave Faaloloto one of his losses and lost a razor close decision to highly regarded Edson Barboza(I thought Njokuani won) before he dominated TUF finalist Andre Winner in his last bout. He’ll be facing the always tough Paul Taylor in what could possibly be the fight of the night.