Grove vs. Munoz

One of the featured bouts of Saturday’s UFC 112: Invincible pay per-view is middleweight battle between Kendall Grove and Mark Munoz.

Bet UFC Odds
Munoz enters the fight as the slight favorite with a betting line of -165 with Grove given a line of +135 according to online sports book Sportsbook.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this bout, which will take place from Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. at 1PM ET on Pay Per-View.
Mark Munoz (7-1):
Strengths
: Munoz is a strong wrestler that was a national champion at Oklahoma State back in 2001. Despite his wrestling skills, Munoz has developed into a solid striker, as he has won three of his eight fights by knockout. Munoz likes to mix in punches and kicks in his striking and relies on his wrestling background to keep the fight on his feet if need be by avoiding takedowns.
Weaknesses: The only fight where Munoz showed weakness was his lone loss, a KO against Matt Hamill back when he fought at light heavyweight. Munoz struggled to deal with the bigger Hamill as he was unable to score takedowns and his striking was not as solid as Hamill’s. Now, with experience and dropping to a lower weight class, that is not as much of an issue for Munoz and it won’t be in this fight either.
Last Five Fights:
First round submission win over Ryan Jensen at UFC 108 on Jan. 2, 2010

Split decision win over Nick Catone at UFC 102 on Aug. 29, 2009

First round KO loss to Matt Hamill at UFC 96 on March 7, 2009

First round TKO win over Ricardo Barros at WEC 37 on Dec. 3, 2008

First round TKO win over Chuck Grigsby at WEC 34 on June 1, 2008
 
Kendall Grove (11-6):
Strengths: Grove is a very lengthy and long middleweight at 6-6. His reach is longer than anyone he will face and his long legs allow him to deliver solid kicks. Grove is also very sound with his submissions as he has scored four submission victories in his career. Grove does a good job of staying off his back as well, as his size gives him a strong base to avoid takedowns.
Weaknesses: Grove has a bit of a suspect chin, which caused him to lose fights to Patrick Cote and Jorge Rivera. Against a compact fighter with a lot of power like Munoz, Grove will have to avoid leaving himself open for a big punch, as it will likely end his night on a sour note. Also, against a superior wrestler, Grove may have trouble on the ground unless he can get Munoz on his back, which will be tough to do, since he lacks the wrestling credentials that Munoz has.
Last Five Fights:
First round submission win over Jake Rosholt at UFC 106 on Nov. 21, 2009

Unanimous decision loss to Ricardo Almeida at UFC 101 on Aug. 8, 2009

First round TKO win over Jason Day at UFC 96 on March 7, 2009

Split decision win over Evan Tanner at Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale on June 21, 2008

First round KO loss to Jorge Rivera at UFC 80 on Dec. 19, 2008


Who will win: This fight seems to favor Munoz is more ways than it does Grove. Munoz can win with takedowns and win with a powerful strike while Grove will have to hope to land a big kick or punch to get Munoz in a comprising position to lock in a choke. Look for Munoz to get this win with a decision or third round TKO due to his ability to get inside Grove’s reach and work ground and pound.
Bet UFC Odds
Posted: 4/9/10 9:33PM ET

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