By MATT MOLGAARD
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
When former NCAA wrestling champion Mark Munoz made the transition from the WEC to the UFC, expectations were high for the promising but undersized light heavyweight. A devastating high kick from Matt Hamill at UFC 96 rendered Munoz unconscious and expectations crumbled. But “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” was anything but done.
The decisive defeat prompted a wise decision in the form of a drop to 185 pounds, where Munoz would no longer be a naturally undersized competitor. The plan panned out, as Munoz turned a miserable debut around quickly, earning three consecutive victories at middleweight, including a second round stoppage over former “The Ultimate Fighter” winner, Kendall Grove. Things looked promising, and that brutal knockout sustained at 205 pounds was little more than a fading memory, until Munoz ran into perennial middleweight contender, Yushin Okami.
The two met at UFC Live 2 on August 1st of 2010. Though competitive, Okami gave Munoz fits inside the cage, and exited with the win, once more knocking Munoz down a peg. But if there