Both men were looking to bounce back from the losses to current middleweight contender Lyoto Machida. Muñoz made his intention clear from the get go by scoring an early takedown. With the former NCAA Division I national champion wrestler imposing his ground skills, Mousasi coolly kept his composure and eventually was able to get the fight back on both feet.
The Dutch-Armenian then turned up the pressure and immediately pounced on his opponent’s mistake. Muñoz tried for a single-leg takedown, but Mousasi countered by taking his back and locking in a rear-naked choke a minute before the end of the first round.
Prior to his move to UFC, Mousasi was one of the highly regarded and sought-after competitors. After dominating an overmatched Ilir Latifi in his debut, the Armenian Assassin absorbed a crushing defeat to Machida. The win over Munoz may not guarantee Mousasi a title shot, but it lines him up for match against a top-tier opponent Jacare Souza or Luke Rockhold.
Save for the loss against Tim Boetsch in UFC 166, the Doberman has been impressive in the past the two years, racking up four wins in five fights. Putting his ground game and emerging striking – the latter in wonderful display last March when he knocked out Cezar Ferreira in just 39 seconds – Dollaway kept Carmont at bay to hand the Frenchman his second straight defeat.
Here are the results from last weekend’s UFC Fight Night:
• Gegard Mousasi def. Mark Muñoz (Sub, 1R 3:57)
• C.B. Dollaway def. Francis Carmont (UD)
• Sean Strickland def. Luke Barnatt (SD)
• Niklas Backstrom def. Tom Niinimaki (Sub, 1R 4:15)
• Nick Hein def. Drew Dober (UD)
• Magnus Cedenblad def. Krzysztof Jotko (Sub, 2R 4:59)
• Iuri Alcantara def. Vaughan Lee (KO, 1R 0:25)
• Peter Sobotta def. Pawel Pawlak (UD)
• Maximo Blanco def. Andy Ogle (UD)
• Ruslan Magomedov def. Viktor Pesta (UD)