BERLIN – Mark Munoz scooped Gegard Mousasi up right away in their fight and slammed him to the canvas. But it didn’t prove to matter much at all.
After that, Mousasi (35-4-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) took over, stuffing the takedown attempts of Munoz (13-5 MMA, 8-5 UFC) and making relatively easy work of him on his way to a first-round rear-naked choke victory.
The middleweight bout was the main event of today’s UFC Fight Night 41 event at O2 World Berlin in Germany. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass.
Munoz dipped down early looking for a takedown, but Mousasi dropped his base to defend and keep the fight on the feet early. But seconds later, Munoz wanted it again. He got it, then scooped Mousasi up, carried him a step, then slammed him to the canvas. But too high, he wasn’t able to take control on the ground, and Mousasi was quickly back up.
Mousasi then went about the business of stalking Munoz, who again dropped down, but couldn’t land the takedown. Mousasi landed a few punches and knees on the fence, but moments later, Munoz again wanted the fight on the floor. But Mousasi masterfully defended and reversed to get to side control against Munoz before trying to pass to mount.
He got there briefly, but then had to settle for big fists up top. Back to his feet, Munoz again wanted to drag the fight down. But Munoz gave up his back in the process, Mousasi easily latched on a rear-naked choke, and it wasn’t long before Munoz had to tap.
The stoppage came at the 3:57 mark of the first round.
“I think I’m going to get a winner, like Luke Rockhold or (Tim) Kennedy, to get closer to a title shot,” Mousasi said. “I worked a lot on the rear-naked choke and the guillotine. I set it up with punches, and I was able to get it. He’s a wrestler, so he always comes forward. I wanted to pick up the angles and slowly pick up the pressure.”
Mousasi, a former Strikeforce champion, gets back on track after a decision loss to Lyoto Machida in February. Munoz now has dropped two straight main events in Europe after a first-round loss to Machida in October in England. He has dropped three of his past four.
In other UFC Fight Night 41 results:
- Gegard Mousasi def. Mark Munoz via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 3:57
- C.B. Dollaway def. Francis Carmont via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Sean Strickland def. Luke Barnatt via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
- Niklas Backstrom def. Tom Niinimaki via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:15
- Nick Hein def. Drew Dober via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
- Magnus Cedenblad def. Krzysztof Jotko via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 4:59
- Iuri Alcantara def. Vaughan Lee via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:25
- Peter Sobotta def. Pawel Pawlak via unanimous decision
- Maximo Blanco def. Andy Ogle via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ruslan Magomedov def. Viktor Pesta via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28