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Mark Muñoz to face Mousasi at UFC Fight Night 41

Nissi Icasiano
Filipino-American MMA fighter Mark Muñoz will face Gegard Mousasi in his first fight since being stopped by Lyoto Machida

THE ROAD TO REDEMPTION. Filipino-American MMA fighter Mark Munoz will take the first step towards reestablishing himself at UFC Fight Night 41. Photo courtesy of http://markmunozmma.com/

MANILA, Philippines – After a disappointing setback this past October, Filipino-American mixed martial artist Mark Muñoz will return to action on May 31 (June 1 in the PHI) to redeem himself by squaring off with highly-touted combatant Gegard Mousasi in a five-round headliner.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) publicly confirmed the fight booking on Friday (PHI time) and is scheduled to take place at the O2 World Berlin in Germany.

The event, dubbed as “UFC Fight Night 41,” marks the promotion’s third venture in Germany and its first since UFC 122 in November 2010, when Yushin Okami routed Nate Marquardt via unanimous decision.

Muñoz vs. Mousasi makes sense from a matchmaking standpoint as Muñoz occupies the No. 7 spot in the official UFC middleweight rankings, while Mousasi has not yet made it to the top ten and checks in at No. 12.

Interestingly, both men are coming off defeats to former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida, who is now enjoying his tenure in the 185-pound division with a record of 2-0.

Muñoz fell victim to Machida’s ferocious head kick at UFC Fight Night 30 on October 26, while Mousasi dropped a unanimous verdict last February 15 at UFC Fight Night 36.

After a year on the sidelines due to injury and depression issues, Munoz (13-4) made a comeback in July of last year by ousting Tim Boetsch, but then had his hopes of making a run at the middleweight title sidetracked by a loss to Machida.

(RELATED: UFC fighter Mark Munoz on MMA in the Philippines, Silva injury)

“The Filipino Wrecking Machine” is currently 8-3 in his last 11 Octagon outings and holds notable triumphs over Kendall Grove, C.B. Dollaway, Demian Maia, Chris Leben and Boetsch.

On the other hand, Mousasi (34-4-2) boasts a 40-bout professional career with 18 knockouts and 11 submissions, and held the light heavyweight belts in both Strikeforce and the now-defunct Japanese organization DREAM.

Prior to his meeting with Machida, the 6-foot-1 Dutch was riding high on a six-match winning streak, thumping the likes of DREAM standouts Jake O’Brien, Tatsuya Mizuno and Hiroshi Izumi, plus top talents Ovince St. Preux, Mike Kyle and Ilir Latifi. – Rappler.com

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