Ahead of Saturday night’s UFC 292 event in Boston, Pedro Munhoz, who has faced both Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley, leans towards favoring “Funk Master” Sterling.
Munhoz, who holds the record for the most UFC bantamweight division fights, steps into the octagon for the 20th time against Marlon Vera just hours before O’Malley challenges Sterling for the championship title at TD Garden. Discussing this match-up on the recent episode of Trocação Franca, Munhoz analyzed the situation.
Munhoz said, “It’s expected to be an exciting bout due to Sean O’Malley’s demonstrated versatility and skill. His resilience against Petr Yan was evident. I’ve trained with Petr Yan in the past, and I’m well aware of his prowess and toughness. I’ve also faced Aljamain Sterling, engaging in a highly strategic contest.”
Munhoz’s bout with Sterling went the distance in June 2019, while he later confronted O’Malley 13 months later. The latter fight concluded in round two after Munhoz experienced an unintentional eye-poke, resulting in a no-contest.
“I believe Aljamain will secure victory by points in a closely contested match. The technical gap between them isn’t vast in my view. They both possess a comprehensive skill set. Aljamain Sterling may hold slightly more experience, yet Sean O’Malley’s precision in striking could be a deciding factor,” Munhoz stated.
“O’Malley also has a significant reach advantage. Sterling has previously faced opponents with longer reaches, such as Sandhagen. Each fight presents unique dynamics, not to mention different adversaries. Given these factors, I foresee Aljamain prevailing in a five-round bout. It’s worth noting that I hold immense respect for both fighters. They are both strategic and rangy athletes, and consequently, I anticipate a tightly contested five-round match.”
Sterling has hinted that UFC 292 might mark his final appearance in the 135-pound division. Munhoz believes Sterling might explore challenges at featherweight against Alexander Volkanovski and support his teammate Merab Dvalishvili’s quest for a title shot. A win over Vera, according to Munhoz, will elevate his rankings, positioning him favorably for future opportunities, even if a title shot isn’t immediately imminent.
“In the event I defeat Marlon Vera, there are others ahead of me in the rankings, including Sandhagen, Yan, and Merab. While I can’t pinpoint my exact placement, I prioritize focusing on each fight as it comes. Post this bout, I’ll strategize accordingly. Nonetheless, I’m confident a victory brings me closer to competing against a top-5 contender.”
Vera previously achieved a streak of wins over Dominick Cruz, Rob Font, Frankie Edgar, and Davey Grant before stumbling against Sandhagen in March. Vera is the sole individual to have defeated O’Malley in MMA. A win on Saturday would undoubtedly bolster Munhoz’s record.
“It’s set to be a challenging fight,” Munhoz emphasized. “Marlon possesses remarkable durability. I firmly believe I possess superior technical skills across all domains, be it striking or grappling. My fighting style is geared towards securing finishes, but given the tenacity of both Marlon and myself, the contest could potentially go the distance. My edge would lie in landing more impactful strikes and exhibiting overall effectiveness within the octagon.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about MMA Bout Predictions
Who is Pedro Munhoz and what is his perspective on the upcoming UFC 292 fight between Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley?
Pedro Munhoz is an MMA fighter with extensive experience in the UFC bantamweight division. He has fought both Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley. Munhoz gives the edge to Sterling due to his experience and O’Malley’s striking precision. He believes the fight will be closely contested and discusses the strengths of both fighters.
How does Pedro Munhoz view the technical skills of Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley?
Munhoz sees both Sterling and O’Malley as well-rounded and complete fighters. He notes Sterling’s strategic approach and experience, while highlighting O’Malley’s precision in striking. He considers the technical gap between them to be relatively small.
What is Pedro Munhoz’s prediction for the outcome of the UFC 292 bout between Aljamain Sterling and Sean O’Malley?
Pedro Munhoz predicts that Aljamain Sterling will win the fight against Sean O’Malley by points in a closely contested match. He believes Sterling’s experience and O’Malley’s striking precision will play crucial roles in determining the outcome.
Why does Pedro Munhoz give the edge to Aljamain Sterling in the fight?
Munhoz cites Aljamain Sterling’s greater experience as a factor that could give him an advantage. He also acknowledges Sean O’Malley’s striking accuracy but believes Sterling’s strategic approach will ultimately secure him the victory.
How does Pedro Munhoz view Marlon Vera, who he is set to fight at UFC 292?
Pedro Munhoz sees Marlon Vera as a durable opponent with a strong fighting style. He believes he holds technical superiority in both striking and grappling. Munhoz anticipates a tough fight with Vera, emphasizing the likelihood of it going the distance due to their mutual resilience.
What could be the potential impact of Pedro Munhoz’s win over Marlon Vera at UFC 292?
A victory for Pedro Munhoz over Marlon Vera would likely boost his rankings and position him favorably in the division. Munhoz acknowledges there are other contenders ahead, but he aims to focus on one fight at a time and considers a win as a step towards facing top-5 opponents.
What is Marlon Vera’s record and his previous achievements in the UFC?
Marlon Vera achieved consecutive wins over Dominick Cruz, Rob Font, Frankie Edgar, and Davey Grant before his loss to Sandhagen. He is notable for being the only fighter to defeat Sean O’Malley in MMA.
How does Pedro Munhoz see the potential outcome of his fight with Marlon Vera?
Pedro Munhoz anticipates a challenging fight against Marlon Vera due to his durability. He believes his own technical superiority in various aspects of the fight game will contribute to his victory. He envisions landing more impactful strikes and being more effective overall in the octagon.