It’s been a little over a year since Mark Munoz has been in the Octagon.
When last we saw the middleweight fighter he had just taken a thrashing at the hands of the division champion’s next opponent, Chris Weidman. Indeed it was that fight and victory that set Chris up for his upcoming title challenge this July 6th, at UFC 162 in Las Vegas.
Ironically, Mark makes his comeback on the same card as he faces off against his fellow 185’er Tim Boetsch.
Munoz told “MMA Junkie Radio” today, that the year off has been a “blessing in disguise”. That as a fighter coming from a wrestling background, he has always been one that would train and work through his injuries. With Mark it was always a “tape-it-up and go… it’ll heel up on its own” mind-set.
In keeping with that wrestler’s mentality, “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” went into his last fight with a broken foot. Post the fight and a trip to the doctors, Munoz was told it would be a year before he’d be able to compete again.
It was at that point where his real battle began.
Mark, unable to train and facing a long lay-off began to wonder whether or not his dream of being a UFC champion was over. That question, combined with his injured foot, an injured elbow and lost opportunities pushed Mark into a state of depression. Turning to food as his drug of choice Munoz ballooned above 260 pounds and fell woefully out of shape.
He said that he went into a “tail-spin” and that he became so fat that he reminded himself of “Fat Bast***” from the Austin Power’s movies.
Munoz, who travels the United States giving speeches on leadership and character building, realized it was time to take his own advice commenting “man, I gotta practice what I preach.”
So, Mark picked himself up and decided to use his down-time effectively, stating of it:
“I’ve been able to work on a lot of good technique and being able to execute that in the cage… to re-develop some of the skills that I actually forgot and to actually develop more skills that I’m going to implement. I’m really excited.”
Coming back Mark says he feels a “re-birth”.
Regarding his upcoming bout with Boetsch he said he is nervous, but in a good way and not worried about what “The Barbarian” was going to be doing, as he was “going to do his thing”.
Personally I will be rooting for the Filipino Wrecking Machine and for him to show us what a healthy and rested Mark Munoz can do. He’s one of the nicest guys in MMA and I wish him all the best in his July 6th bout with Boetsch.