Munoz eyes comeback in UFC 184

LOS ANGELES – The UFC 184 fan fair continues, as fighters — including the main event women’s champion Ronda Rousey and Cat Zingano — squared off with the media and fans.

The main event and co-main event at the Staple Center features all women.

“It’s really encouraging that making history for the women is becoming a regular thing for us,” said Rousey, UFC women’s bantamweight champion.

As two of the sports’ top female fighters square off in the main event, a Filipino-American is looking to regain his fighting form on the undercard.

The “Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz has lost two straight matches. After a 10-month layoff to nurse injuries, he will be taking on Brazilian Roan Carneiro.

“I’m just excited to get back in there and compete and make sure I’m at my best come Saturday night,” he said.

With a record of 13 wins and five losses, and now at age 37, some believe it may be time to call it quits. But Munoz’s team helped him realized that rather than retire, he needed to re-energize by managing the different aspects of his life and career.

“I want to be the best father and husband I can be. I want to be the best in everything I do. I want to be the best UFC fighter, I want to be the best gym owner, I want to be the best friend that I can be. I want to be the best in all the roles that I play so it’s hard with being this competitive I’ve actually cut myself short. I have to not prioritize my schedule. I have to schedule my priorities,” he said.

With age comes experience, and the former wrestling coach has also become a mentor to many athletes in one of the most violent contact sports.

“Great guy great coach so it’s exciting to see him come back and he’s phenomenal he’s been great as far as helping coach in wrestling and in MMA for myself and all of ‘Reign’ [Gym]. It’s cool seeing how he’s developed too for this fight,” said UFC fighter Jake Ellenberger.

While Munoz is focused on Saturday’s opponent, he does have his sights set on a fight date in May, when UFC holds fight night in Manila.

“If I’m going to miss that card I’m going to cause a revolt. I’ve been trying to push UFC to go to the Philippines for so long. I want to be the pioneer that leads the expansion of MMA in the Philippines,” he said.

Despite a 10-week break between Saturday’s fight and Manila, Munoz believes he will be ready if he gets the chance. It is proof that retirement is far from the Filipino Wrecking Machine’s mind.

You can contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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