UFC: Munoz to set aside friendship with Machida
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-American fighter Mark Muñoz will be forced to set aside his friendship with Lyoto Machida to boost his UFC middleweight title aspirations.
The “Filipino Wrecking Machine” will be fighting the “Dragon” at the main event of UFC Fight Night 30 this Saturday in Manchester, England for a possible shot at the UFC middleweight championship.
Muñoz admitted he was hesitant at first in taking the Machida fight since the Japanese-Brazilian fighter was his former training partner.
"Yeah, there was hesitation, to be honest with you," he said in MMAjunkie.com. "There was hesitation in taking it. It was crazy, but at the same time, it's competition.”
Since he wanted to progress in a highly competitive middleweight division, Muñoz said he would have to forget being friends with Machida during the duration of their fight.
"You've got to be able to put the friendship aside for about 25 minutes and then pick it back up when it's done."
Muñoz also believes that whoever wins the fight will be given the chance to face the victor between the Anderson Silva-Chris Weidman middleweight title rematch.
Silva wants to recover his middleweight title from Weidman at the main event of UFC 168 in December.
"I think with Machida going down to middleweight, being a former champion and fighting me, he definitely has a way to fight for a title," said Muñoz. "But that's only if he gets by me.
"So I truly believe we both have a shot at a title after this fight."