Mark Munoz isn’t necessarily trying to put Hector Lombard down when he says the former Bellator champion is not ready to compete for the UFC title.

As far as Munoz is concerned, he’s seen what it takes to become a contender inside the Octagon – and Lombard still needs to prove himself in that arena.

“The Lombard fight makes sense (to me),” said Munoz, during a recent interview with Bleacher Report. “He came into the UFC and got upset with me saying he doesn’t deserve a title shot. He has to win a few times to be considered and he got mad at that. I was just being honest and up front.”

Lombard, who had put together a lengthy unbeaten run, was topped by Tim Boetsch in his debut. Munoz added that he wasn’t trying to be a bad guy, just honest.

“I’ve been in the division and the UFC for over three years and I felt that was the proper order of things. He got upset about the things I said and we’ll see how it turns out,” Munoz said. “We’ll see if our paths cross. If it does – cool, but if not, I won’t be hurt off it either.”

Munoz is coming off a loss to Chris Weidman that came on the heels of an extended break due to an injury. He feels ready to wipe the slate clean in the new year.

“You are going to see a different Mark Munoz in 2013,” the fighter said. “Especially when it comes to a more well-rounded striking game. That has always been my weak link and people know that. Strikign is an area I’ve put a lot of focus on and people are going to see improvements in that aspect of my game.”

Munoz (12-3) had a four-fight win streak snapped with the loss to Weidman. He has gone 7-3 since joining the UFC in 2009 out of the WEC.

Photo credit: Sherdog