Pedro Munhoz wants to make history in his next octagon appearance.
The bantamweight contender welcomes former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar to the division at UFC 251, which is set to go down at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It’s a big bout for Munhoz (18-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) as he prepares to face the biggest name of his MMA career.
“I’m fighting a legend – an OG,” Munhoz told MMA Junkie. “I fought before a veteran, a guy that had a lot of fights back in RFA – Jeff Curran. But fighting Frankie is definitely going to be something of an accomplishment.”
Munhoz, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, has picked up most of his finishes using his grappling, with half of his 18 career wins coming via submission. Now the bantamweight contender plans to make a statement to the rest of the division by becoming the first fighter to submit “The Answer”.
“I think about that every day,” Munhoz said. “Frankie is a tough opponent. He’s really good. He’s a black belt under Renzo Gracie, so to go in there and be able to submit a guy that’s never been submitted in his career before is definitely a big accomplishment. And yeah, it’s going to put my name right there in part of the history.”
Fifteen-year veteran Edgar is as seasoned as they come and has faced many different fighting styles throughout the years. Yet despite the vast experience, Munhoz thinks he does offer new threats that Edgar hasn’t seen before on the ground.
“Without a doubt, I do believe in my jiu-jitsu. We have a lot of good names out there,” Munhoz said. “We have Charles Oliveira, we have Rodolfo Viera, myself, Demian Maia. But if you see, we all came from the same school. I know all those guys since we were teenagers.
“Rodolfo Viera used to stay in our gym when he came to the hometown, and when we went to Rio we used to stay at his gym. Charles Oliveira, we used to train under the same gym. Demian Maia, he used to come do MMA in our gym, so we were able to train. We’re the dangerous guys in the UFC when you talk about grappling. We’re all good fighters and good at standing, but jiu-jitsu is something that we grew up doing. Our jiu-jitsu compared to the rest is sharper.”
As for Edgar, Munhoz thinks he’ll see a better version of the former 155-pound champion than we saw at featherweight or lightweight.
“I think he’s going to be even better,” Munhoz said. “I think he found his division. I think the weight cut is going to be easy. He’s extremely professional, and we all know his skills are going to be even sharper because he’s going to be able to fight a guy his size. That’s going to be an interesting matchup, and that’s the kind of fight I like to do. I like to fight the best guys (and) challenge myself.”