UFC 271 is just around the corner, and it is a middleweight bout that has everyone’s attention. The main event features the blockbuster rematch that pits the division’s best against each other. Robert Whittaker takes on Israel Adesanya in the main event of UFC 271. 3 years on from the first matchup where Adesanya bested Whittaker in the second round via TKO. Dan Hardy sat down with Submission Radio to discuss UFC 271 and the middleweight title fight. However, while previewing the weekend’s bouts, the former welterweight fighter drew attention to some other fighters in the middleweight division, namely, Andre Muniz.
Andre Muniz is a potential contender for the Middleweight title
“There are a few people, especially a bit lower down the division that we gotta be keeping an eye on…”, started off Dan Hardy. “Andre Muniz in two fights could be in title contention, he’s snapping arms left, right, and center.”, he said of the fighter with a 22-4 record. Muniz made his debut for UFC on 16th November 2019 against Antonio Arroyo. He won his first fight in the promotion via a unanimous decision in what was a dominant display.
Since then, he has gone on to win 3 more fights extending his UFC record to an unbeaten 4-0. This streak also included a performance of the night bonus in only his second bout in UFC Fight Night on 5th September 2020.
#UFCVegas9 performance of the night bonuses:
— UFC News (@UFCNews) September 6, 2020
And regardless of his career being in its earliest stage, he has garnered a subtle and fearful reputation across the roster, with 3 out of his 4 wins coming via submission, earning him the nickname, Sergipano. Most notoriously, the armbar submission that snapped Jacare Souza’s right arm clean. Dan Hardy put it elegantly when he said, “He’s the one that I’m keeping an eye on in the middleweight division. I think he’s a terrifying individual.”
Middleweight is not solely Israel Adesanya’s yard
Hardy went on to predict a volatile future for the middleweight division with exciting, under-the-radar prospects on the move. While another fighter that he made mention of was Alex Pereira. “What a lethal individual. Stone hands.”, he remarked about the up and coming fighter with a 4-1 record.
Interestingly, Alex Pereira and Israel Adesanya go way back. In 2017, both The Last Stylebender and the Poatan plied their trade kickboxing under the Chinese kickboxing promotion, Glory of Heroes. And Alex Pereira famously got the better of the current middleweight champion by knocking him out. That feat alone definitely heralds his arrival into the UFC as a challenger. And for Adesanya, perhaps retribution.