"The Filipino Wrecking Machine" Mark Munoz recently made a Manila detour to corner teammate Raja Shippen during his fight with Harris Sarmiento at Pacific Xtreme Combat 29, last February 11 at the Ynares Sports Arena. And to say that the audience were ecstatic to see him in the flesh would be an understatement. We think "crazy bananas" is the better term.
We idolize Mark Munoz. To bits. We admire how he remains humble in a sport full of barakos and egomaniacs. We're amazed at how close he is to fighting for a UFC title. We love that the moniker "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" is catching up in the fight community. "It would be an honor to get a hold of this guy," we said. Better meet him now than later - he could be as big as Manny by year's end.
Mark fortunately agreed to do an exclusive Q&A session with several members of the media, so here we are - tears of joy rolling down our cheeks, hands shivering in excitement, mind going blank out of pressure. Some of the stuff he said during this interview are must-reads, that much we can attest. Enjoy!
His life before becoming a fighter
"I never thought I’d ever be a fighter. But I truly believe my life is in God’s hands. Back then I already got jumped twice – they took my shoes and they beat me up. I love basketball and football – those are the two sports I play – but I had an injury in my sophomore year so I had to concentrate on one sport and I took wrestling. When I got into it, it was only supposed to help me learn self-defense. Get tougher so I can defend myself. I eventually became a two-time state champion, two-time All-American, and a high school and college national champion there, even almost making it in the Olympics. Then I coached for 10 years."
What made him decide to pursue mixed martial arts
“I met Urijah Faber and he’s been telling me for three years that I need to fight. I said no because I have a wife, four kids, I’m teaching and coaching, and I’m getting my master’s degree, so there’s no way I can pursue a career as a fighter. Still he invited me in this training camp that had Randy Couture, Brandon Vera, Frank Trigg, and Rampage Jackson. All these guys came in for a camp with Randy. So I came in thinking it was only supposed to be a wrestling and jiu-jitsu session, but I saw them wrapping their hands to spar. I was surprised. I didn’t know how to wrap my hands at that time, so Urijah wrapped my hands and told me: 'Mark you’re sparring with Randy first.' I said, 'What! My first time sparring and I’m doing it with Randy Couture?' But I had to do it. He beat me up but I was able to take him down a few times and I loved it after that.”
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