This time last year there was no shortage of people talking about the title shot prospects of Mark Munoz as he headed into his UFC on FUEL TV 4 bout with Chris Weidman. After all, the decorated wrestler was coming off wins over Aaron Simpson, CB Dollaway, Demian Maia and Chris Leben, and the only man who had beaten him in his last eight fights was Yushin Okami (who has a way of defeating top 185érs). While Weidman had also impressed so far in his UFC tenure, plenty of observers saw Munoz as the emerging contender.

Of course, Weidman sent a shockwave throughout the MMA world by blasting through Munoz, and as result, it is he who will fight champion Anderson Silva at UFC 162. Munoz, transversely, could be fighting to keep his top ten ranking that same night, when he battles Tim Boetsch. RM Sports’ Rick Lee recently caught up with the 35 year-old, “Filipino Wrecking Machine”, and here’s what he had to say about the importance of his July 6th tilt with Boetsch.

“To win this fight is extremely important. For me to be able to win and showcase my skills, and executing what I’ve been training for the whole camp, should I finish him, that would speak volumes. It would let everyone know that I’m back and I’m ready to go. Last fight wasn’t indicative of who I am, and a win over Tim Boetsch would definitely catapult me back into the title hunt.”

Although the “The Barbarian” is also coming off a defeat, a stoppage loss to Costa Philippou in December, the former light-heavyweight had also been battling his way up the middleweight ranks by winning four straight fights. Although Boetsch’s split decision win over Hector Lombard didn’t thrill many fans, he did take out Okami in one of 2012’s most jaw dropping, come from behind victories.

“Tim is strong; he’s resilient, he can end a fight with one punch and he’s got good clinch work,” said Munoz.  “Those are things that he possesses, so those are things that I need to think about, but at the same time I need to think about what I do best and enforce it on him as well. If I keep thinking about what he does, I won’t do anything in the fight, so I need to be able to take the things I’m best at and execute it on him.”

It’s a compelling bout. Both men are in need of a win to remain in the top ten, both are experienced wrestlers and both are extremely powerful middleweights.

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