It took a doctor’s stoppage to enable Mark Munoz to finish Chris Leben tonight at UFC 138, but the wrestler was unquestionably getting the better of the action in a highly entertaining main event battle.
Munoz Vs Leben was scheduled to be the first five round non-title fight in the UFC, but apparently nobody told the two fighters to pace themselves as they went full blast from the opening bell.
The first round was evenly matched as the two slugged it out on the feet at times while also exchanging successful takedown attempts.
It was Munoz who took the fight to the mat first, but Leben smartly used the cage to wall walk back to his feet before then surprising the wrestler by taking him down. Munoz too wasted no time in returning to his feet and they were exchanging punches again before Leben stepped into the clinch and managed to slam Munoz back to the canvas.
The back and forth takedowns continued as Munoz got his feet underneath him one again, stood up and took Leben down and this time he lands some solid shots before Leben scoots out.
The two square up and begin trading bombs with Leben appearing to get hit by a big shot, but in trademark fashion walking through it and pressing forward with his own strikes that has his opponent backing up. The round ends with Leben continuing to swing hard at the wrestler.
A lot of energy was expended in that opening round and Leben looks weary as he steps up for round two. He’s still fighting hard though, but Munoz isn’t looking to trade and takes him down again and begins unleashing some more powerful ground and pound strikes.
After briefly getting back up Leben is once again getting friendly with the canvas and Munoz is really letting fly now and a right hand opens up a nasty cut above Leben’s eye.
Leben shifts to his knees and attempts to stand, taking more punches from Munoz in the process. He’s still lucid though and despite looking very tired and being covered in blood he’s ready to press on, but the referee calls for a time out to allow a doctor to check the cut.
After a consultation period Leben is allowed to continue though it’s now questionable whether he can see out of his eye. The two go back to trading with Leben going for broke but Munoz secures another takedown and finds himself in mount position and fires off more blows until the round ends.
Leben heads back to his corner and the doctor takes another look at his eye before deciding to call off the fight.
Therefore Munoz wins by TKO due to the doctor’s stoppage. It’s a disappointing way to end the contest, but Munoz was certainly worthy of the win.