Johnny Munoz Jr. knows there is pressure on him as he’s fighting out his UFC contract on Saturday at UFC Vegas 64.
Munoz Jr. is 1-2 in the UFC and coming off a first-round TKO loss to Tony Gravely back in June. Following that, he wasn’t sure what would be next for him but when he got the call to face Sholinian he was excited as he knows a ton about him.
“I actually know a lot about him. I didn’t know his name but when I looked into him I was like ‘oh, it’s this guy.’ The interesting thing is, back in 2020 at the PI, one time Ali (Abdelaziz) was doing a wrestling class,” Munoz Jr. said on Just Scrap Radio on BJPENN.com. “I happened to be in there because I’m friends with Dan Ige and he told me to do the class. Liudvik was actually there and my cousins got to roll with him, but I didn’t get the chance. That helped out a lot because my cousins told me what he was good at, and what he was doing. I was also there when he fought Jack Shore. I’ve also been going to Vegas to the PI, I’ve also run into him a lot. This is the first time I’ve run into my opponent very frequently.”
After seeing the rolling session, Johnny Munoz Jr. believes he is better everywhere than Liudvik Sholinian. He knows Sholinian will try and wrestle him early and often, but believes that is where the Ukrainian fighter will make a mistake.
Munoz Jr. Criticizes Sholinian’s Striking
“I think I match up great, he’s a wrestler and I have a jiu-jitsu background. On the floor, if he does try to take me down I do know how to wrestle, too,” Munoz Jr. said. “I do think I’m a better wrestler than him, but I’m not there to show I’m a better wrestler, I’m there to show I’m the better MMA fighter. Wherever this fight goes, I believe I’ll be able to control it and execute my game. He’s a tough dude.”
With Munoz Jr. thinking Sholinian will wrestle him often, the American believes he will catch Sholinian with a submission.
“He’s a tough dude but I think I submit him. If we got to the ground, I see myself subbing him. He ain’t going to escape,” Munoz Jr. added. “I’m just going to keep hitting him until he falls, he has no head movement, just walks forward. Just get him to shoot and get something to open up.”
If Munoz Jr. gets the submission win he’s after, he’ll improve to 2-2 in the UFC and believes he’ll get a new contract given this is the last fight on his deal.
“This is the last fight on this deal. We are going to sign after this, I put this guy away I sign a new deal,” Munoz Jr. concluded.
Do you think Johnny Munoz Jr. will submit Liudvik Sholinian at UFC Vegas 64?