|Mark Muñoz (photo grabbed from UFC.com)
MANILA, Philippines — Filipino brawler Mark Muñoz toppled close friend Aaron Simpson by a unanimous decision, in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 123 undercard bout on Saturday (Sunday, in Manila).
The 32-year-old Muñoz won via three 29-28 streaks in the 3-round middleweight bout, held at the The Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan.
“I just wanted to enforce my will, and control the pace of the fight and whenever he comes forward, I try to comeback and come forward as well,” Muñoz said in a UFC.com post-fight interview.
The UFC 123 main card was won over by Quinton "Rampage" Jackson against Lyoto Machida in their light heavyweight bout. He defeated the Japanese fighter with a very close 28-29, 29-28, 29-28 judgment.
Amid being friends, the “Philippine Wrecking Machine" said they both took the fight rather professionally.
“(Simpson)'s a good friend of mine even way back. We talked and talked and talked and we knew it was gonna be an awesome fight,” he said.
With the win, Muñoz climbs to a 9-2 record leaving Simpson at 7-2.
Muñoz, who weighs at 185 lbs., is the 2001 US NCAA Division 1 and 2-time NCAA All American (Oklahoma State) champion wrestler.
He is coming off a narrow loss to Yushin Okami last August.
Meanwhile, fellow 185-lbs. Simpson is a 2-time NCAA All American and 1997 President Athletic Conference (PAC) 10 Champion. He also finished 4th Place in the US Olympic Trials in 2004. He suffered a technical knockout loss to Chris Leben last June.
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