It surprised Mark Munoz when the UFC announced Michael Bisping and Tim Boetsch would square off later this year at middleweight.

Munoz, who was slated to face Chael Sonnen in a #1 contender match before having 24 bone fragments removed from his elbow in January, was looking at “The Count” as a perfect fight to make his return to action against. Instead, Munoz remains in the unknown as far as who or when he will be pegged by the UFC to fight again.

“It was surprising to me,” said Munoz, in a recent interview with ESPN. “I thought we were on a collision course. I know there are a lot of people in the general public that wanted us to fight. I would have loved to fight Bisping just because he’s a bigger name and I match up well with him.”

Munoz (12-2) added that he will be ready to return from the surgery and rehab by summertime, saying, “I’ll take a fight in July. I’ll be ready by then for sure.”

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

MMATraining Take: Most of the top middleweights in the UFC have matches already set, so it is likely that Munoz takes on a rising prospect in his return. That might not be the kind of match he wants, but it might be all he gets for now.