Alexander Munoz strikes Luis Pena (Zuffa LLC)

Alex Munoz, 33, comes from an accredited collegiate college wrestling background but is winless in his two octagon appearances since joining the promotion in 2020. Both losses came via decision and the most recent was a controversial split decision loss.

Carl “The Anishinaabe Kid” Deaton III, also 33, is also winless in his UFC tenure. Although, Deaton only has one fight under the UFC banner, and it was a lopsided submission loss back in February.

Betting Odds

Munoz opened as the slight favorite but has quickly grown as money has come in on his name.

  • Alex Munoz: -160 (BetUS)
  • Carl Deaton: +125 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Munoz wrestled at Oklahoma State University, one of the premier wrestling colleges in the nation. His record only amounted to 21-19; but still, the significance of the school’s name carried him into MMA and eventually the UFC. Munoz has underwhelmed since joining the largest mixed martial arts promotion, albeit against solid UFC-caliber competition.

He averages a healthy three takedowns per fight but only finishes them at a 39% clip. That level of success, or rather lack of success, is surprising and disappointing given Munoz’s background. Part of Munoz’s difficulties in his wrestling stems from his competition. He debuted against Nasrat Haqparast, an established UFC commodity with an impressive 75% takedown defense. Given Haqparast’s striking ability, takedown defense, and UFC experience, a pass can be given to a debuting fighter with limited MMA experience.

Then came a step down in competition- Luis Pena, who only boasts a 48% takedown defense- and Munoz showed better in his sophomore fight. Munoz landed takedowns in all three rounds and kept pace on the feet. In a closely contested fight, I actually scored it for Munoz. Still, glaring weaknesses in his game were evident. Munoz timed his entries better, finished 4 of 9 attempts, and looked more comfortable on the feet.

However, his striking defense was minimal, his aggression and comfort in the cage still seemed awkward, and, most concerningly, he couldn’t hold his opponent down once he got the fight to the mat. Still, though, Munoz is a strong wrestler with reliable cardio, an awareness of where his strengths are, and he’s shown noticeable improvements from fight 1 to fight 2.

Deaton is a grizzled and tough veteran fighter who gives up a lot athletically in the cage. He is undersized for the weight class, slow on the feet, and reacts poorly to takedowns. His preferred game is to use toughness, cardio, and awkward striking to get the fight against the cage where he can use his experience and crafty style to grind out decision wins or force an opponent to make a reactive mistake.

Outside of those two avenues of success, Deaton does not offer much else in the cage. His striking is awkward, with off-beat timing, and short punches. His movement, much like his striking, is also awkward, lunging in and out of range. Because of his unique style, Deaton rarely plants his feet and does not carry much power; instead his striking is more designed to be a volume attack and force his opponent backward. If he can force his opponent on their back foot, Deaton can get the clinch against the cage he wants, and try to take the back of his opponent.

Munoz has an inverted UFC resume- going from the toughest fight to the easiest- so far in his career. His debut came against a terrible stylist matchup and against a fighter with high-level experience. Then, in his second fight, Munoz faced a step down in talent, experience, and style. Once more, in this fight, Munoz is again facing a step down in talent, experience, and style. Deaton was taken down and rag-dolled on the mat in his debut, has less experience than Munoz, and does not have much striking game to threaten on the feet.


This fight is put up or shut up time for the ex-Cowboy Munoz. He’s being gifted a fighter who is the same age, smaller, less athletic, and who presents very few obstacles for Munoz’s preferred game. If Munoz can’t outwrestle Deaton, then he has no business being in the UFC.

Deaton does have the edge in experience and is a crafty and tough submission fighter, so a defensive submission is in the cards. But, as long as Munoz minds his P’s and Q’s, improves again from fight to fight, and does what he’s always been able to do- wrestle- it’s his fight to lose.

Best Bet: Munoz to win (-160 at BetUS)

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