UFC 112: Mark Munoz Confident Heading into Fight Against Kendal Grove
UFC Middleweight Mark Munoz has been competitive his whole life. A four-year starter on the legendary Oklahoma State wrestling team, Mark compiled 121 wins, which ranks sixth on the school's all-time wins list.
Add in two Big 12 titles, back-to-back All-American honors at 197 pounds, and a championship in his senior year at the university.
After finishing his phenomenal wrestling career, he then went on to accept a coaching position in California, which is where he met WEC star Urijah Faber. After meeting Faber, Mark began training and fighting professionally in 2007 where he went 3-0 in before years end.
Now 7-1, Munoz is right in the mix of the middleweight division and comes into UFC 112 fresh off a first round January submission (punches) over Ryan Jensen.
In speaking exclusively with Bleacher Report, the former DI champion spoke about the Jensen fight and his obvious progressions in the division.
"Every time you see Mark Munoz you’re going to see me improve. Everytime I step into the cage I want to be able to show everyone who sees me that you have a new and improved Mark Munoz. I’ve committed myself to all points of mixed martial arts and I’m dedicated to making my weaknesses my strengths. People will see that April 10 and I’m pretty excited to do that."
It has been said, in order to become the best you must train and work with the best. Munoz has placed himself in the midst of training with some of the sports elite in Team Black House which is host to the likes of Anderson Silva, Junior Dos Santos, and the Nogueira brothers.
"It’s improved my game so much, just to be able to be around those guys. They show me things and it’s just like wow. It’s kind of compare it to telling riddles, you actually know the answer but you can’t even say the answer. Those are the type of things that are so little and so subtle that you don’t even think about doing small techniques like that.
"Those things improve your game so much. I did a Muay Thai class with Anderson and he showed all these little things that make a huge difference in his style. When you’re around them you get to see how they are, it’s great to be around great fighters and they’re great people as well."
In addition to working with the all-star cast at Team Black House, the middleweight also ventured out for training in preparations for his fight at UFC 112 this Saturday against Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Kendall Grove.
"I ventured out a little bit. I have been training hard with King Mo, Fabricio Werdum, Babalu (Sobral), and Ryan Jensen has been running classes for us. Ryan Parsons, Able Munoz, coach Raphael Cordeiro, coach Billy Scheibe and Jason "Mayhem" Miller as well."
Working with the aforementioned cast, Munoz has surrounded himself with top notch fighters whom all have had or are fighting in the near future.
Munoz's opponent this Saturday, has seven submission victories to his credit which accounts for sixty-three percent of his wins and recently submitted former Division I wrestling standout Jake Rosholt via first round triangle choke. However, Munoz feels that his jiujitsu game has evolved quite well.
"I’ve been rolling with Fabricio Werdum and Babalu, to just roll with them is incredible. I tell them to throw as many armbars and triangles up on me as you can. I even start off having guys locking themselves in a triangle or armbar setup already and go live. I think for me it’s being able to prepare and know the position, when to counter it and know when it’s going to come."
If the middleweight is successful in getting where he wants to be at UFC 112 he will position himself to be right in the mix in the 185lb. division and that is exactly where he feels he belongs.
"A win over Kendall would definitely put me in upper echelon of fighters. I’m just taking it day by day and improving. I want to be a new and improved fighter everytime I fight and I’ve never turned away from a fight so whoever the UFC puts in front of me, I’ll welcome it with open arms.
"For me, I just want to get that belt and I’m going to work hard to accomplish what I set out to do. With the help of these guys around me, I believe I can do that."
Munoz, also believes that fighting on the organizations first outdoor event which will take place from Ferrai World on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi and being on the same card with the UFC's top fighters have also given him extra drive to be dominant.
"There’s two title fights and the biggest UFC fighters on this card. Two of the biggest UFC fighters and it’s a awesome opportunity. It has inspired me to train even harder and it means the world to me. Along with everything else, I feel that this is the biggest card, It’s going to be a wonderful experience and I’m very confident I can get there where I want to be."
For more infor regarding Mark Munoz and the Venue for UFC 112 see: http://train2reign.com/, http://www.markmunoz.net/, http://www.yasisland.ae/FerrariWorld_en_gb.html