UFC middleweight Mark Munoz is heading into the biggest fight of his career this Saturday inside the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada, and “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” is all business.
Although the former Oklahoma State Cowboy has deep ties with the vaunted Team Black House, which features 185-pound champion Anderson Silva, former Pride & UFC heavyweight champ Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Junior dos Santos just to name a few, things are a little bit different this time around.
Submission specialist Demian Maia, Munoz’s opponent at UFC 131, held his training camp in San Diego, California with Nogueira and dos Santos by his side.
“I know it’s a business and I’m not gonna take anything personal,” Munoz told TapouT Radio.
Some would be hurt or see it as an act of betrayal, but Munoz is a different breed of fighter. He’s widely known as one of the nicest, if not THE nicest, fighters in the sport.
“I trained with Junior dos Santos because he’s part of Black House and Junior’s actually training with Demian,” Munoz explained. “Nogueira was actually training with Demian before he found out that I was fighting Demian. It’s kind of a tangled web we’ve weaved.
“It’s pretty much like who has been training where. I’ve been training with Anderson for his last fight [against Vitor Belfort] and for Chael [Sonnen]. When he’s in L.A., I’ll train with him,” Munoz shared.
“Nogueira was training down in San Diego and I know that Maia was training there and Junior dos Santos is training there. It’s no hard feelings man. I come from the sport of wrestling, you had to wrestle your friends and your friends had to wrestle your friends.”
The 33-year-old understands there’s a lot on the line when he enters the Octagon this weekend, including the potential of putting himself in a position to possibly fight one of his friends down the road.
“I know that with a win over Demian it’s definitely gonna put me in the [title] mix. I’m just very prepared to step in there and prove a point,” stated Munoz.