UFC middleweight contender André Muniz has pitched two potential locations and opponents for his first Octagon appearance of 2022.
Muniz has quickly developed into one of the most promising rising 185lbers and one of the most dangerous men in the UFC on the ground. “Sergipano,” a 3rd-degree black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu under Otávio Duarte, is 4-0 on MMA’s biggest stage, a record that includes three armbar submissions.
After back-to-back wins on Dana White’s Contender Series, Muniz earned an opportunity in the UFC, one that he has grabbed with both hands; hands that are capable of some terrifying things when they get hold of a limb.
After starting on the right track with a decision triumph against Antônio Arroyo and showcasing his submission skills in the UFC for the first time in his victory against Bartosz Fabiński, the Brazilian went from prospect to serious contender in his third appearance.
Muniz was matched up with the legendary Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza, regarded as one of the best submission grapplers in the promotion’s history, at UFC 262 last May. In an incredible performance, Muniz sunk in a unique armbar in the opening round, one that brutally (and audibly) snapped the arm of his compatriot.
Muniz Targets Home Crowd Or Hostile Crowd
After a clash against fellow rising middleweight Dricus Du Plessis fell through, Muniz secured his second win of 2021 at UFC 269 against 13-fight promotional veteran Eryk Anders. How did he do it? You guessed it, with an armbar.
Ranked #13 at 185 pounds, Muniz will be hoping to break into the top 10 in 2022 and maybe even stake his claim for a shot at divisional gold. With that in mind, he knows what he wants from the UFC next.
“I hope that now, with these submissions (against Souza and Anders), that the UFC will give me a top 10 or even a top five (opponent),” Muniz told MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn. “I’d like to end the year in a top-five position. Maybe Darren Till.”
Muniz went on to suggest he’s hoping for a clash with “The Gorilla” in the Liverpudlian’s home country. The UFC is reportedly targeting the March 19 card as its return to London, England. While a host of European names and UK stars have had matchups booked for that date, it still lacks a main event. Perhaps the promotion will go down the Muniz vs. Till route.
If that doesn’t come to fruition, Muniz has his sights ready to divert to another international venture for the UFC, this time to his own home nation. Reports suggest the promotion is targeting a return to Brazil for a pay-per-view on May 7. Muniz said it would be “amazing” to fight in Rio de Janeiro against an opponent ranked higher than him. He named top-10 stalwart Uriah Hall as a potential foe.
“If I can’t hook them to put me against Darren Till in England, it would be great, it would be amazing to fight in Rio(de Janeiro) against somebody ranked ahead of me. Who knows, maybe a Uriah Hall or somebody like that. That would be amazing.”
Some fighters get excited by the prospect of a delivering a winning-performance in front of their home crowd and making the walk to the Octagon with fanfare and cheers. Others relish in the chance to spoil a homecoming in an opponent’s backyard and walk to the cage amidst a chorus of boos.
Muniz’s 2022 targets are ambidextrous in that regard…
Would you rather see André Muniz face Darren Till in England or a high-ranked opponent like Uriah Hall in Brazil?