This weekend’s UFC Fight Night will mark several milestones.
First, it’s the first UFC event in a rising MMA hotbed: the Philippines.
It’s also the 20th professional MMA bout in the career of Filipino American Mark Muñoz, who is scheduled to face Luke Barnatt in a middleweight bout at the event.
Recently, Muñoz announced that the bout, which is his first MMA fight in his family’s homeland, will be his last as a professional.
The “Filipino Wrecking Machine” spoke to Karyn Bryant last week for MMA HEAT, and explained that family is a major reason for his retirement.
“My son is going into high school now, and he wants me to coach him,” Muñoz said. “He quit everything else: jiu-jitsu, baseball, soccer, and he’s really good at all three. He represented Team California in Cooperstown, New York. He started at third base, didn’t make a single error, batted 12 for 15 there. In soccer, he played for the Strikers, one of the best clubs out here, and he shined there as well.”
“But, he said Dad, I want to quit all that, because I love wrestling.” Muñoz continued, noting that the younger Muñoz had a NCAA Division 1 scholarship as a goal, along with an eventual Olympic gold medal.
“What makes you think you can do it?” Muñoz recalls asking his son. “Without batting an eye, he said — I’ve got you, Dad.”
Muñoz wants to train his son and others in wrestling in coming years, and has already closed down MMA classes at his Reign Training Center to begin that focus.
Full interview is here: