Defeat can humble even the greatest amongst us, but in the world of combat sports it is especially hard to come to terms with the feelings that accompany a loss. Fighters put their health and well being on the line each time they step into the cage, knowing full well that a career-ending or even life-altering injury is a distinct possibility. It is this very real threat of harm that makes competing inside the octagon so praiseworthy.
Mark Munoz could have hung up the gloves after his defeat at the hands of new UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Instead, he has emerged from defeat stronger than ever, putting on a dominant winning performance against Tim Boetsch last month. Our very own field reporter, Adam Brennan, had the opportunity to sit down with Mark Munoz to discuss his upcoming match against Michael Bisping, his thoughts on owning his own gym, and more.
Mark, you had a very impressive performance against Tim Boetsch. What’s the strategy as you prepare for your fight against Michael Bisping?
My strategy is to go in and punch him as hard as I can, take him down, and then punch him as hard as I can.
Well, that sounds like a great strategy. Are you aware of the comments he made about you recently? That he wants to leave you in a pile of piss and blood?
Oh yea, I’m aware of what he said, but you know the bottom line is that when they close that cage door and the referee says “fight,” he’s not going to be thinking about that and I’m not going to be thinking about that. What I will think about is everything I did in camp. That stuff doesn’t bother me anymore, man. When I go in I’m a professional. He talks trash to build up the fight, and he can build it up all he wants. All I know is that he’s going down. I’m going to go in and beat him up in his own backyard.
The same night you defeated Boetsch we saw Weidman knockout Anderson Silva. I want to know, who do you have in the rematch, and who would you rather fight for the title?
I’m going for Anderson. I’d love to see Anderson win as he’s a good friend of mine. I have mixed emotions on this fight, because I lost to Chris Weidman and I want to fight him again because I didn’t show who I really was in that first fight. Later on, when I got checked out by the doctor, he told me I had a broken foot and couldn’t understand why I fought anyway. He said I’m too tough for my own good. At the same time, I also had a bum elbow. Because of my broken foot I couldn’t really do any of the road work or cardio I usually do, so I had to cut a massive amount of weight. That’s behind me though. That’s behind me. He landed that elbow, and he’s the champ right now. I would love to see Anderson on top again, but at the same time I want to be champion too. I wouldn’t be a competitor, and I wouldn’t be in the UFC if I didn’t want to become a world champion.
Let’s talk about another upcoming match. Are you taking GSP or Hendricks?
Hendricks (I’d like to note that his response was immediate)
Yea, I think a TKO on the feet.
Mark, people love you here at Reign Training Center. How does it feel having your own gym, and what are your plans for it?
I treat people the way I want to be treated. I give people respect, and they reciprocate. It’s pretty much the golden rule around here, man. Treat people the way you want to be treated. I’m very knowledgeable in the sport of MMA, but I’ve been wrestling longer. I’ve incorporated the wrestling and created a style that goes well with what I do inside the octagon. As a coach I can teach different styles and I can work with different personalities and learning styles. I can look at a fighter and see what he needs to work on, not only in his physical attributes but also in his psychological traits, to make him become a better fighter. It’s about giving back, and in giving I will receive.If I’m able to give my strengths to them then they’re going to do the same for me. In essence, you’ll be a better fighter because you’re elevating the level inside the gym. When you increase the level inside the gym, then you indirectly better yourself.
Thanks to Mark Munoz for spending the time with us. We wish him the best of luck as he faces off against Michael Bisping in the main event of UFC Fight Night 30, live on October 26, 2013 from Manchester, England.