FILIPINO-American warrior Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Muñoz faltered in the biggest fight of his mixed-martial arts career.
Muñoz’s move to the 185-pound weight division ranks and his shot at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight title of Brazilian superstar Anderson Silva was foiled after losing to Japanese Yushin Okami via a split decision in UFC Versus, at the San Diego Sports Arena in San Diego California.
One judge scored the bout 29-28 for the 32-year-old Filipino, while the other had the same score for Okami.
In the first round, both fighters went out swinging, unleashing a couple of haymakers. But Okami, who had a reach advantage, found his range and landed a couple of clean punches.
Muñoz, who is a former NCAA Division 1 champion wrestler, shifted to his forte and attempted to take down the 29-year-old Japanese but the latter fended him off with his impressive takedown defense.
Muñoz finally found his mark in the second round, knocking down Okami with a vicious left hook to the head. However, he failed to finish the fight as Okami quickly recovered.
Okami also sent Muñoz to the canvas in the third with a counter right hook but the latter survived to finish the round.
Okami improved to 25 wins and five losses while Muñoz dropped to eight victories and two defeats.
In the main event, up-and-coming prospect John “Bones” Jones proved he is not just hype as he easily disposed of accomplished veteran Vladimir “The Janitor” Matyushenko.