Fact: Chris Weidman hits so hard that his victims often fail to quantify the force of his punches until weeks and sometimes months after they’ve been hit. Just ask middleweight contender Mark Munoz, who received such a vicious beating at the hands of Weidman last July that his bones began to disintegrate over the course of the year in an attempt to deal with the shock. Hell, even Weidman’s body cracked under the pressure of possessing two pipe bombs for hands. So it’s quite fitting that, almost a year to the day after their clash at UFC on FUEL 4, both Weidman and Munoz have been booked to return to action at UFC 162.
While Weidman is already scheduled to face off against Anderson Silva for the middleweight title in the evening’s main event, Munoz will taking on the man Weidman was expected to face at UFC 155, Tim Boetsch.
If you recall, Weidman’s teammate, Costa Phillipou, quickly stepped in as a replacement against Boetsch at UFC 155 and managed to successfully cut “The Barbarian’s” title hopes right out from under him with a series of eye pokes and headbutts that were eventually declared a third round TKO. Prior to the loss, Boetsch had racked up 4 straight wins in the middleweight division over the likes of Hector Lombard and Yushin Okami among others. Will ring rust play a factor in Munoz’s return to the octagon, or will Boetsch launch himself right back into the short list of contenders at middleweight with a win here?
Munoz vs. Boetsch is just one of several exciting matchups to be announced within the past few hours, so join us after the jump to check out the chronologically-sorted list.
UFC on FOX 7 – April 20th
Joseph Benavidez vs. Darren Uyenoyama: The former flyweight title challenger in Benavidez is on the heels of a unanimous decision victory over Ian McCall at UFC 156. Uyenoyama, on the other hand, recently made the drop to flyweight following a successful bantamweight debut victory over Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto at the inaugural UFC on FOX card. The grappling specialist looked more dangerous than ever at 125 lbs, successfully choking out Phil Harris in the second round of their scrap at UFC on FX: Browne vs. Bigfoot.
Also booked for this event: TUF Brazil’s Hugo Viana vs. KO artist Francisco Rivera.
UFC 159 – April 27th
Johnny Bedford vs. Erik Perez: Despite getting viciously knocked out of the TUF 14 tournament by eventual bantamweight winner John Dodson, Bedford has been killing it ever since entering the deep waters of the UFC’s bantamweight division. The hard-hitting Ohioan cruised past Louis Gaudinot en route to a third round TKO at the TUF 14 Finale before absolutely blistering Marcos Vinicius at the TUF 16 Finale last December. Bedford will have his hands full when he takes on fellow slugger Erik Perez, who has finished all three of his opponents since entering the organization in June of 2012. Here’s a video of his 17-second blitzkrieging of WEC veteran Ken Stone in case you are still questioning how this fight will end.
UFC on FX 8 – May 18th
Fabio Maldonado vs. Roger Hollett: Although he was nothing short of savaged in his last fight against Glover Teixeira at UFC 153, Fabio Maldonado gained the respect of fans worldwide for his unbreakable chin and unquestionable heart in the face of defeat — he even received a “Thanks for losing years off your life” bonus check from the UFC for that performance. Although he has dropped his past three fights, Maldonado is set to take on Bellator vet Roger Hollett at the Rockhold vs. Belfort-headlined UFC on FX 8. It’s likely a do-or-die fight for either man but especially for Hollett, who completely dropped the ball in his UFC debut against Matt Hamill at UFC 152.
Also booked for this event: Gleison Tibau vs. John Cholish.
UFC 161 – June 15
Sam Stout vs. Isaac Vallie-Flaag: Following a successful promotional debut victory over Yves Edwards at UFC 156, the relatively unknown Vallie-Flaag will be given a very similar test for his sophomore appearance when he faces 15-fight UFC veteran Sam Stout. After getting out-jogged by John Makdessi at UFC 154 (at least according to Stout), “Hands of Stone” rebounded with a unanimous decision victory over Caros Fodor at UFC 157 last month.
Also booked for this event: Sean Pierson vs. TJ Waldburger.