(Busto vs. Anjo at UFC 25, or, before the UFC’s commentating team knew what an arm-triangle choke was.)
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Murilo Bustamante will be returning to action for the first time since 2010 on March 31st when he headlines Amazon Forest Combat 2. And if that sentiment alone doesn’t give you a fearection, then get this: the man he will meet across the cage is none other than the same one he took the UFC Middleweight title from, Dave Menne.
Not since Abbott/Ferrozzo II have we been so excited.
One of the founding member of Brazilian Top Team and a twenty year MMA veteran, Bustamante’s grappling accolades are extensive to say the least, including four Brazilian National BJJ Championships, a 1999 Mundials World Championship, and several appearances in the ADCC World Submission Wrestling Championships. After defeating Menne back in January of 2002 at UFC 35 by second round TKO, Bustamante would defend the belt once, submitting Matt Lindland with a guillotine in the third round of their UFC 37 title fight. Financial disputes with the UFC, however, would force Bustamante to vacate the title shortly thereafter and sign with PRIDE FC, where he would go 4-5 against the likes of Dan Henderson, Ikuhisa Minowa, and Quinton Jackson. Bustamante will be looking to erase the memory of his last performance, an abysmal second round TKO due to retirement loss to TUF 7 alumnus Jesse Taylor at Impact FC 2 in July of 2010.
Menne, on the other hand, will be looking to make it three in a row come March 21st. After dropping a first round TKO to Omar De La Cruz at Bellator 7-8 in May of 2009, Menne followed up a unanimous decision victory over Adrian Miles by submitting Eric Davila with a guillotine choke in the first round of their main card bout at UWF- Huerta vs. War Machine. A 61 fight veteran, who is sadly best known for being on the receiving end of Phil Baroni’s “BEST EVA!!!” beatdown, Menne has fought just twice in the past two years.
At 45 years old, many believed this fight would be Murilo’s swan song, as the match-up was as poetic as one could ask for in their last fight. But according to Bustamante, he would like to fight three times in 2012, and is angling for a match against “The Gracie Hunter” himself, Kazushi Sakuraba. Here’s what he told Esporte.com:
This is probably my last year fighting as a professional. I hope to make three more fights before ending my career. This fight against Menne was not in my personal interest, it’s more interesting for the AFC event, for having two former UFC Champions. But there are many names in my head. People like Kazushi Sakuraba that is in my weight class but I never got to fight him. It’s possible for it to happen.
Bustamante is a black belt under the legendary Carlson Gracie, so this match, although a few years past the point of interest for many, would still satisfy the die hard fanatics out there. Right? RIGHT?
We don’t care what you think, somebody make this happen.