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Leben Munoz Betting – Munoz Holds Off Stubborn Leben In England

Posted by Jack “The Hammer” Howard on 10/31/2011 6:49:55 PM
leben munoz betting

Online betting players will be treated to an exciting main event on Saturday when UFC 138 takes place in Birmingham, England for the first time in just over three years, as Mark Munoz and Chris Leben take center stage in a 185-pound clash. Both of these warriors love to put on a show, but you can expect Munoz to control the fight with his excellent wrestling.

  • What: UFC Betting
  • When: Saturday, November 5th, 9:00 PM ET
  • Where: LG Arena, Birmingham, England
  • Pick: Mark Munoz -240

Why Bet On Mark Munoz (11-2)

“The Filipino Wrecking Machine” has won three in a row since a split-decision loss to Yushin Okami last August, and he utilizes his wrestling background to unleash some of the most brutal ground-and-pound that the UFC has ever seen. He is also improving his jiu-jitsu as he is training with the Nogueira brothers, although he wanted no parts of going to the mat in his last fight, a unanimous decision over Demian Maia, who is a third-degree black belt. But Maia really surprised Munoz with his stand-up game, which is a place that Munoz has an edge. If anything, it should have inspired Munoz to improve any more.

But Munoz’s bread-and-butter is his wrestling and ground-and-pound, and as a former All-American at Oklahoma State, he is always going to look for the takedown first. He is excellent at controlling his opponent when he is on the mat, but Munoz would do well to keep improving his jiu-jitsu so he can threaten his opponents with a submission; he has won just once fight via submission, and that was against Ryan Jensen via punches in January 2010. That would add another dimension to his game and boost his UFC betting odds, but as of right now, Munoz employs a vicious ground-and-pound game that has boosted him to the No.5 ranking in the middleweight division.

Why Bet On Chris Leben (22-7)

“The Crippler” has long been a UFC fan favorite, since the days of the first “Ultimate Fighter” where he was one of the stars. If there is one thing you know you’ll get from Leben, it’s an exciting fight. He will stand in the pocket and trade with anyone, although that sometimes gets him in trouble. He has won four of his last five fights after a first-round knockout of Wanderlei Silva, but some will argue that Silva is far past his prime and it wasn’t an impressive victory. But Leben is rolling after a tough middle portion to his career and he would love to get another crack at champion Anderson Silva, who rolled over Leben in his UFC debut in June 2006. Leben will also be used to the English crowd; the UFC was last in Birmingham in October 2008, and he lost a decision to English fighter Michael Bisping.

Leben should have worked on his takedown defense during this training camp, because Munoz will want to use his wrestling to control the fight. But an underrated part of Leben’s game is submissions, and he showed it against Yoshihiro Akiyama in July of last year, slapping him in a triangle to end the fight. He has won five times via submission, but he prefers to stand up and strike as opposed to going to the mat. He may have to pull another one out if Munoz does indeed get him to the mat, which will probably happen at some point as Munoz is too strong of a wrestler to have all of his takedowns stuffed. You can’t question Leben’s toughness, either, so he may be able to withstand a ground-and-pound attack by Munoz. That may be the key to this contest.

How It Will Play Out

UFC betting odds have Munoz as a massive –260 favorite in this middleweight showdown, while Leben is rated at +220, but that is a dangerous +220. Leben is on a mission and he wants to prove to the fans, as well as president Dana White, that he deserves to move up the ladder and perhaps earn another title shot down the road. Munoz is on the right track in regards to a championship shot, but he needs an impressive performance after the Maia fight.

Leben is a tough customer, but he is also incredibly inconsistent, that is why we’re sticking with the favorite in this fight. Leben is probably the better striker, but Munoz can smother you with his wrestling and he is also a decent Muay Thai striker. Munoz will have to watch for submissions from Leben, but his control should be enough to get by. The kicker is that this fight will be the first non-title main event to go five rounds, so conditioning will be a factor as well. Take Mark Munoz to earn the victory in your sports betting picks.

UFC 138 Betting Pick: Mark Munoz

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