Archive | April, 2008

Valencia Looks to Rebound against Cruz

30 Apr

by Frank Curreri for WEC.tv (2008-04-30)

Charlie Valencia remembers the good old days, back in the mid-1990s, when he fought on rinky-dink shows that were unsanctioned.
It was the infancy of a quiet movement that would eventually evolve into a sport. But to call it mixed martial arts at the time, well, that would be a stretch. It was Valencia and a bunch of unknowns standing in line to fight. There were no scales to verify your weight. You were usually fighting for free. The so-called promoter just sort of matched guys up with whoever seemed to be closest in size, meaning the 135-pound Valencia was often pitted against 160 and 170 pounders. But fighting was a lot easier back then. You didn’t have wrestlers who had trained for years in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and boxing. Many fighters had little formal training. Valencia would coast to victory by relying on a single skill — wrestling — and his natural punching ability.
He’d come home with a black eye and his parents would ask about it. “I got it from wrestling,” he’d tell them.
He kept his secret until about 2004, when he came clean with his parents.
“I always went against what my father said,” Valencia said. “That was the hardest thing for me. He never showed up to any of my wrestling matches or fights until later on in my career. He finally realized this is what I wanted to do and he accepted it. I don’t blame him for that. I understand completely where he came from. He didn’t want this life for me; I don’t think any parent would. But he goes to all my fights now and he’s very supportive. It’s great.”
Valencia’s mother may travel for his fights but, when he is in the cage fighting, she stays outside of the arena and prays. Charlie Valencia, 33, explained why he gravitated toward fighting, even when there was little money to be made and the competitions were not considered a sport.
“It was the next thing that followed from wrestling,” he said. “I was kind of tired of wrestling, but I was still very competitive. I didn’t get that same feeling before a wrestling match that I used to get — that scared feeling, the adrenaline pumping. I didn’t get that any more in wrestling and fighting provided that for me. So that’s why I ended up doing it.”
Valencia (9-4) is scheduled to fight Dominick Cruz in June 1 on the undercard of the Urijah Faber-Jens Pulver show. Cruz, 10-1, is dropping down to 135 pounds for the first time in his career. Valencia hopes Cruz feels the effects of his weight cutting. Valencia, about 5 feet 4 inches tall, also recognizes that Cruz holds a considerable height and reach advantage.
“When I used to wrestle I thought it was a lot easier to wrestle tall people,” Valencia said. “As I get older, it seems like I’m having a little more difficulty fighting taller people. I think being small in stature kind of keeps you away more from the submissions and armbars because you’re stubbier, and speedwise it benefits me, but with reach and all that other stuff, I have to eat more punches before I get mine off.”
Valencia, who lost his last fight to Japan’s Yoshiro Maeda, is training for the bout in Sacramento with WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber and his teammates. Faber dealt Cruz his lone loss.
Valencia said this could be the last fight of his career, which is something he’s been saying for years. He has battled lots of injuries, including a torn ACL, fractured cheek bone and broken orbital bone. How often does he think about retirement?
“Every time I go and I train,” Valencia said with a chuckle. “The preparation for a fight is so much more demanding now since everybody is doing it full time and they’re a lot younger. There’s a lot more out there for people to actually strive for. There’s more money, there’s people taking pictures, there’s magazines, it’s more mainstream than it was then. I’ve thought about that many times. Right now it’s a good time for me to at least capture a little bit of what could have been back in the day. Who knows? I don’t know when I’m going to quit fighting. It might be after Dominick, it might be four more fights, I’m not sure yet. It just depends on how it all works out.”

IMA Australia’s Mick Mortimer Retains Championship Belt

29 Apr

by Tony Green (2008-04-29)

Congratulations to Mick Mortimer with an impressive Australian Title defence on Warriors Realm last weekend. Mick in his first Title defence defeated Perths Alex Shevstov.
The former Russian wrestling champion took Mick down early in the fight, finding himself quickly inside Mortimer’s guard. This was the beginning of the end as Mortimer quickly took control of Shevstov from his back, snapping on an impressive armbar and forcing the tapout early in the first round for the quickest finish of the night.
Mick Mortimer thanks his sponsors for this event and now looks forward to attracting fight offers Internationally.
Mick fights out of the Team Integrated/Fairtex camp at:

23 Wolverhampton Street
Stafford Qld. Australia. 4053
Mick Mortimer 60kg Australian Champion. Profile viewable at http://www.integratedmma.com

Dino Wins Title At CSC!

29 Apr

by FTX (2008-04-29)

On Saturday Night, Fairtex’s Dino Pagtakhan, student of Senior Trainer, Amorndet Ranjanthuek,won his title fight by TKO in the first round.Dino looked very impressive, as the TKO stoppage came on the second knock down of the round.
The event was a great promotion, and there will be more details to follow.
Dino will go on to compete for the USMF National Championship Title at the upcoming XFight & USMF’s WAR of the HEROES this coming June.If Dino wins, he will earn a spot on USMF’s Team USA that will go on to compete at the World Cup in Busan, South Korea.

From Everyone at Fairtex, Congratulations Dino and Amorndet!

Zimmerman is the Man at K-1 Europe GP

26 Apr

by Monty DiPietro, photos courtesy of FEG (2008-04-26)

AMSTERDAM, April 26, 2008 — Errol Zimmerman of Holland won today’s K-1 World GP ’08 Europe Final at the Amsterdam Arena. The 23 year-old kickboxer, who hails from the respected Golden Glory gym, dispatched three opponents en route to victory.
This was a classic eight-man elimination tournament — all bouts contested under K-1 Rules (3Min. x 3R w/1RExt.), a quartet of first-tier fights advancing four men to a pair of semis, and the winners there going head-to head in the final.
Zimmerman took his first step on the road to glory by beating Attila Karacs, the Hungarian hero of February’s Europe GP Final Elimination in Budapest.
Zimmerman led with hard punches while Karacs put up points with studied one-two-three combinations. The focused Karacs was good with his evasions and counters, and this was shaping up to be quite a battle. But then a cut opened on Karacs’ lower leg. The ringside doctor had a look and the fight was called. Karacs bowed his head in frustration, and Zimmerman headed to the semifinals, where he met Swiss K-1 star Bjorn Bregy.
Bregy had met power with power to defeat veteran slugger Jan “The Giant” Nortje of South Africa in his quarterfinal.
After Nortje’s spirited start — leading with low kicks and barreling forward with the fists — Bregy came back with some hard punches of his own, prompting Nortje to drop his guard and beckon, “Come and get me!”
Bregy went and got him. A couple of straight punches went through and a high kick made partial contact. It appeared to be a left that got the job done, sending the South African down, where he stayed.
But Bregy enjoyed no such success in his semifinal dance with Zimmerman. A tentative start to this one, both men staying back. But in Amsterdam any more than thirty seconds without serious action will elicit serious jeers and whistles from the crowd. As the disapproval decibels rose, the fellows responded by picking up the pace, transforming this into one of the most exciting fights on the night. Bregy went on the warpath, clocking Zimmerman with an overhand right. It was lucky for the stumbling Dutch fighter that he hit the ropes or he might have ended up on his backside. Bregy got the size-based attacks going in the second round, denying Zimmerman a way in, then stepping forward with the jabs, following with knees and uppercuts. After taking a flying overhand, Bregy dropped his guard and invited Zimmerman in to mix it up. Zimmerman obliged, dropping Bregy with a right.
Early in the third it was Zimmerman who lowered the guard and taunted his opponent, and now it was Bregy who accepted the invitation and scored a down. Evened up, the fighters now went for the kill. Bregy put a few solid blows in, but Zimmerman stayed on his feet, then rallied, chasing Bregy with the fists to score a down, and resuming pursuit after resumption. Bregy turned away from the fight, and for doing that he was assessed a standing count. The second down in the round, putting Zimmerman through to the final.
In the final Zimmerman met Belorussian Zabit Samedov. Both fighters tested early with low kicks, Zimmerman stepping in with the right straight punch and missing with the knee; Samedov pressing with fists but off-target with his spinning back kick. In the second, Samedov’s footwork and speed served him well as he pounded in a right-left combination; while Zimmerman surprised his opponent with a flying knee. A bit of clinching slowed the action some in the third, before Zimmerman landed several punishing blows. Samedov was fast and aggressive right to the final bell, working a wide variety of punching attacks. A close contest and a majority decision — the deep disappointment showing on Samedov’s face when Zimmerman’s hand was raised.
In the other tournament bouts:
Samedov fought in the first quarterfinal matchup, taking on Doug Viney of New Zealand, a 31 year-old boxer who improbably came out of the reserve fight to win last year’s K-1 WGP Repechage Tournament in Las Vegas, beating Samedov in the final. This was Samedov’s chance for revenge.
Viney broke briskly with the left jab, while Samedov kept the guard high and close and countered with low and high kicks. In the second, Viney rushed his opponent with straight punches but did not connect to effect. The Kiwi continued to absorb hard low kicks, and only just got out of the way of a Samedov high kick. Viney threw a few kicks in the lackluster third, but Samedov’s evasions and blocking were sound. Midway through the round, Samedov brought a right hook over the top to score a down, and that was more than enough to put the Belorussian into the semifinals.
In the other quarterfinal, French finesse fighter Freddy Kemayo stepped in against Romanian farmer’s son turned rugby player turned K-1 fighter Catalin Morosanu.
Morosanu has professed an admiration for American K-1 slugger Bob Sapp, and he came out tonight looking a lot like the Romanian Beast, swinging the haymakers one after the other. Always good to see an aggressive start, but Kemayo also liked what he saw, as Morosanu’s guard was practically nonexistent much of the time. It was scarcely 30 seconds into the fight when Kemayo coolly brought up a knee to catch Morosanu hard on the face, opening a nasty gash and dropping him to the canvas for the KO win.
Alas, it was announced before the semifinals that Freddy Kemayo had suffered injury in the bout and could not continue in the tournament. Taking his place was Brian Douwes of Holland, who had punched down Brit James McSweeny twice in the first round to win the tournament reserve bout.
Douwes vs Samedov had speed, technique and power — and the crowd loved it. A hard-fought first, Douwes good with a knee and middle kick; Samedov getting punches through and making partial contact with a high kick. In the second the pair repeatedly closed with tight combinations, both giving and getting a good number of hard blows. Great effort falling on strong chins. The third was slower, Douwes the one coming forward, Samedov blocking with a high guard then scoring quickly on counters, clocking his opponent with a right and just missing with a spinning back punch. One card went blue, one red and one had them even, sending the fighters back in for a tiebreaker round.
Here Samedov was the more aggressive, firing in low kicks, pounding at the guard with a high kick and a knee then closing to work the body blows. A strong performance by Samedov, who would finish the day as the tournament’s second-best fighter.
With his tournament win, Errol Zimmerman advances to the World GP ’08 Final Elimination in Seoul, where the year’s final 16, including the world’s top fightsport title-holder, three-time and defending K-1 WGP Grand Champion Semmy Schilt of the Netherlands, will pair off for a one-match elimination tournament.
There were two K-1 Superfights and a whole lot more on the card in Amsterdam.
Highly-anticipated was a showdown between a pair of Dutch K-1 stars — two-time WGP Grand Champion Remy Bonjasky and the always-tough Melvin Manhoef. On a rare literary side note, Bonjasky this week celebrated the release of his authorized biography, “Remy Bonjasky — God in Japan,” by Mabel van den Dungen.
The stocky Manhoef is 15cm/6″ shorter than God, but said before the bout that he had trained to overcome the height disadvantage. This he did, deftly ducking under Bonjasky’s high kicks and answering with body blows, stepping past the low kicks, and, when Bonjasky threw middle kicks, grabbing the leg and pushing forward to deliver a punch. Bonjasky had his flying knees, but Manhoef was equally belligerent with flying punches, and the crowd had to admire his spunk. Late in the first Bonjasky overwhelmed his opponent with leaping legs for one down, then delivered a kick to the midsection to score another. In the second a refreshed Manhoef threatened again on counters, but Bonjasky scored a down with a knee and had Manhoef looking beat at the bell.
But Manhoef came out hard again in the third, launching a spinning back kick and meeting Bonjasky’s high kicks with his duck and counter tactic. There were times throughout when it looked like Manhoef had rattled Bonjasky, but in the end it was the more experienced fighter who stayed on his feet, and Manhoef who went down, twice in the third, to force a referee stop. A thrilling contest and well-deserved win for Bonjasky.
In another Superfight it was a couple of muay thai fighters — 22 year old Tyrone Spong of Suriname, and K-1 veteran Azem Maksutaj of Switzerland.
Maksutaj took the initiative, charging in with fists and low kicks, but a patient Spong soon found his form, launching hard low kicks and just missing with a high kick. Maksutaj’s positioning and movement kept him out of trouble until he got caught on the ropes, and Spong brought up a knee to score a down. Spong had Maksutaj reeling late in the round, but the Swiss fighter was saved by the bell.
Both fighters threw low kicks to start the second, Spong showing impressive power. Again Maksutaj got caught, and this time it was a right kick to the midsection that felled him. He did not beat the count.
The K-1 Europe GP was complemented by the Dutch fight promotion “It’s Showtime,” bringing the total number of bouts on the day to nineteen.
“It’s Showtime” featured a number of K-1 fighters:
Buakaw Por Pramuk of Thailand beat Moroccan Faldir Chahbari by decision; Armenian muay thai fighter Drago out-pointed Warren Stevelmans of Holland; and Dutch kickboxer Gokhan Saki surprised Paul Slowinski of Australia with a right to score a first-round down, then finished the ’07 Europe GP Champion with a left cross to win by KO.
In other fights, Sem Braan beat Alexandre Cosmo by decision; Perry Ubeda KO’d Stephan Tapilatu; Georgio Petrosyn out-pointed Chris Ngimbi; and Nieky Holzken KO’d Joerie Mes.
In undercard action it was Robin van Rosemalen over Hammadi Mahdaoui and Rico Verhoven bettering Christiano Delgado, both by decision.
The K-1 World Grand Prix ’08 Europe Final attracted a sellout crowd of some 20,000 to the Amsterdam Arena and was broadcast live across Japan on the Fuji TV network. For international live and time-delay broadcast scheduling, consult local providers. Check with the K-1 Official Website (www.k-1.co.jp/k-1gp) for comprehensive coverage of this and all K-1 events.

Melendez VS. Thompson Set For June 27th

25 Apr

by strikeforceusa.net (2008-04-25)

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Following a year of anticipation, Strikeforce World Lightweight (155 lb. limit) Champion, Gilbert “El Nino” Melendez (14-1), will put his coveted title on the line against number one contender and Bay Area arch-rival, Josh “The Punk” Thomson (14-2), in the main event of a Strikeforce mixed martial arts mega-card at San Jose’s HP Pavilion on Friday, June 27th.
Tickets for “Melendez vs. Thomson,” priced from $30, go on sale Monday, May 5, at 10 a.m. PT at the HP Pavilion ticket office, online at http://www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at 408-998-TIXS, 415-421-TIXS, 510-625-TIXS or at http://www.strikeforceusa.net.
Originally slated for March 29, 2008, the showdown between the 155 lb. superstars was put on hold after it was learned that Thomson would have to undergo surgery for a left shoulder injury he had sustained on his way to victory over Adam Lynn at Strikeforce’s event at The Playboy Mansion on September 29, 2007.
“This is a very big fight for the fans, for the promotion and for Josh and me,” said the 26-year-old Melendez, who turned in another stellar performance in his last effort, stopping Pat Miletich protégé Gabe Lemley with a brutal ground and pound offensive in the second round of their live SHOWTIME-televised contest at HP Pavilion on Saturday, March 29th. “Josh is a great fighter, but I’m the champ and I plan on remaining the champ for a long time.”
Unbeaten after his first nine starts, Melendez seized the Strikeforce crown from former junior collegiate wrestling standout, Clay “The Carpenter” Guida, on June 9, 2006, battering Guida with kicks and punches for five rounds before being awarded the title by way of judges’ decision.
Following his conquest of Guida, Melendez took his skills to Japan’s now-defunct Pride Fighting Championship for a pair of fights in the second half of 2006. Nobuhiro Obiya and top-ranked Tatsuya Kawajiri were his victims, respectively.
Last September, Melendez returned to Strikeforce action, taking on Japan’s Tetsuji Kato in the main event of the first mixed martial arts event in history at The Playboy Mansion. Melendez suffered a broken hand during the fight, but persevered, effectively utilizing his jab and takedown defense to earn a unanimous judges’ decision after three rounds of battle.
The 29-year-old Thomson, a former wrestling star for NCAA Division I Stanford University, has been on fire of late, winning each of his last six bouts. Only one of them, his meeting with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu stud, Nam Phan, on December 8, 2006, went the distance.
“This fight with Gilbert has been a long time coming and we’re ready to do it,” said Thomson, a resident of San Jose. “It’s not as if we need a feeling out period. We both know each other very well. We’ve trained together, we’ve sparred together. We’re gonna come out ready for five rounds, but we’re gonna bang it out.”
Regarding the condition of his shoulder, Thomson is optimistic. “As we’re training, it’s getting stronger so we’re just taking it one day at a time,” he stated.
Prior to joining the ranks of Strikeforce, Thomson, a member of San Jose’s Team AKA, established a reputation for being one of the sport’s most gifted athletes. A pair of victories in The UFC, including a majority judges’ decision over Hermes Franca four years ago, and a win in Pride are amongst the feats that have helped him achieve stardom.
During “Shamrock vs. Baroni,” the first-ever SHOWTIME PPV mixed martial arts event on June 22, 2007, Thomson reintroduced himself to a national audience, submitting Nick “The Ghost” Gonzalez with a rear naked choke at the 1:42 mark of the fight’s first round.
HP Pavilion doors will open at 6 PM for “Melendez vs. Thomson” and the first preliminary bout will begin at 6:30 PM. The main card will commence at 8 PM.
About Strikeforce:
Strikeforce is a world-class mixed martial arts cage fight promotion which, on Friday, March 10, 2006, made history with its “Shamrock vs. Gracie” event, the first sanctioned mixed martial arts fight card in California state history. The star-studded extravaganza, which pitted legendary champion Frank Shamrock against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Cesar Gracie at San Jose’s HP Pavilion, played host to a sold-out, record crowd of 18,265. Since 1995, Strikeforce has been the exclusive provider of martial arts programming for ESPN and, after 12 years of success as a leading, world championship kickboxing promotion, the company unveiled its mixed martial arts series with “Shamrock vs. Gracie.” Since then, it has co-produced the first SHOWTIME PPV mixed martial arts event in history with its world championship “Shamrock vs. Baroni” card on June 22, 2007.

Yodsaenklai Fairtex Wins Contender Asia

25 Apr

by FTX – photos by Lawrence Ripsher (2008-04-25)

Singapore, 12th April 2008 – .‘Contender Asia’, Muaythai’s first reality TV show which is based on same the concept as Sugar Ray Leonards Boxing Contender show, came to an explosive end this week with a superb final between Thailand’s Hero Yodsaenklai Fairtex and Australia’s legend John Wayne Parr.
Yodsaenklai proved once again he is the number 1 Muaythai fighter and claimed the Contender Asia Title Belt after a 5 round bout, with a unanimous decision.
The 2 fighters started the fight as they meant to carry on – explosive & aggressive from the offset. With about 10 seconds to go before the end of the 1st round Yod threw a great right hook knocking JWP to the canvas, visibly rocking him and leaving him dazed, the crowds cheered & celebrated believing it was all over but the bell went and both fighters were sent to their corners. The fighters continued into round 2 when another strong punch by Yod sent JWP to the canvas again.
JWP displayed an impressive fighters heart in the later rounds with many 6/7 punch combinations trying for a knock out, however Yod moved well, stayed away from any dangerous shots and countered with superb precision. Yod is re-known for his dominating left roundhouse kick and JWP was prepared for this, however Yod mixed up his game and changed his tactics to outsmart the Australian, and it paid off.
The fight continued for the full 5 x 3minute rounds, both fighters showing great heart, determination and hunger for the win, but in the end Yod dominated the fight with his precise timing and technique, powerful kicks and accurate strong boxing.
The purse for this fight was the biggest purse ever for a Muaythai fight at $150,000 USD.
We congratulate our boy Yodsaenklai on another job well done.
Photos courtesy of Lawrence Ripsher (website http://www.scaredofthedark.com)

Mark Munoz: Two Dreams Die, Another Is Born

22 Apr

by Frank Curreri for WEC.tv (2008-04-22)

“Ever think about fighting? You should fight. Man, you’d be an awesome fighter.”
That was Urijah Faber talking to his buddy, former NCAA wrestling champ Mark Munoz. Day after day, month after month. The subtle nudging dragged on for nearly four years. Munoz heard Faber, respected him, and even accepted invitations to MMA training camps, where he trained against the likes of Brandon Vera, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Randy Couture and Frank Trigg. Munoz impressed during those sparring sessions, but had too much on his plate to turn pro. He had a wife and four kids to support. He was pursuing a master’s degree in sports psychology from the University of California-Davis. He also happened to be the assistant wrestling coach at Cal-Davis and was training to make the 2004 Olympic wrestling team.
“Urijah was always in my ear, so I give him a lot of credit for fostering my growth in MMA,” Munoz said. “He never forgot about me. He was always coming around and constantly reminding me. Urijah was always there in my head saying, ‘Hey, you need to fight.’ I was like, ‘No. I will eventually, I just need to concentrate on coaching for a little bit; I need to get my master’s degree. ”
Munoz was eeking by financially, earning $35,000 a year coaching. Thankfully, in late 2007, his work on his master’s degree was winding down. He just needed to complete his thesis paper, which must be at least 75 pages long. He still hasn’t decided on a topic for the thesis, but has narrowed it down to two things: Examining “the confidence inventory” on athletes or chronicling the rise of MMA. With more time to spare, Munoz turned pro in October. The light heavyweight is unbeaten in three fights, has signed a six-fight deal with the WEC and is scheduled to make his debut for the organization in June.
“With me being in the hole financially, that was a great catalyst to getting me in the Octagon,” Munoz said. “I have four kids so it was very hard (financially). I made it work for five years, now it’s time to move on. Now I’m more confident that I can make MMA work.”
Previously, Munoz had watched his biggest dreams die. As a kid and teenager, he was a hard-hitting dynamo on the football field. He had fantasized about the day an NFL commissioner would stand behind a podium and tell a room full of media and spectators, “With the 43rd pick in the NFL draft the San Francisco 49ers select Mark Munoz, outside linebacker, University of Southern California.” Or something like that. Then, years later, Munoz redefined his master To-Do List. He wanted to become, wrestler Mark Munoz, Olympic gold medalist. It never came to be.
But in many ways, Munoz has been lucky to have come so far. He grew up in Vallejo, Calif., or “V-Town,” and had played football since the fourth grade. During his sophomore year of high school he attended a church summer camp. Not for football, just outdoor games and activities. One night, while being chased in the dark during a game, he fell eight feet or so into a ditch.
“I totally shattered my leg,” he said. “I broke five major bones.”
He was rushed to a nearby hospital. They refused his insurance, he says, and declined to treat him.
“So I went back to the campground with my toe pointed in the other direction and bones sticking out of my leg,” he said. “I waited for someone to take me home so my parents could take me to a military hospital where I could get surgery.”
He waited overnight. The next day his mother came to pick him up. She drove an hour or so to another hospital, which also declined to treat Munoz. He remembers them tellng his mother, “Sorry ma’am, we can’t operate,” and sending them off. Munoz’ mother took him home. She was awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of the boy’s crying. She drove him an hour and a half to Oakland.
This hospital could treat him, but not on the spot. They said he would have to return in a week. They were too busy with other cases. But then a doctor came out to see Munoz, who was raising a big fuss. The doctor recognized Munoz and had treated him for a previous hip injury.
“So she saw me there and knew of me, and my mom was just ranting and raving,” Munoz said. “The doctor took my file and said she’ll operate. That was amazing. I was in the operation for eight hours. She did total reconstruction on my leg. She told me I wouldn’t walk for a year, run for two years, but she had every intention of getting me back on the wrestling mat.”
His football career was over. But he was an exceptionally fast healer. By the fall, he was back to wrestling. By spring, he had won the first of two California state championships.
The mild-mannered family man has set his sights on a new dream: Becoming a world champ in MMA. And no one is disputing that this guy has the physical tools to pull it off. He’s built like a fire hydrant, ultra-powerful and supremely athletic for a guy who fights at 205 pounds. Physically he reminds you of a young Junior Seau, the future NFL Hall-of-Fame linebacker. You could even draw comparisons to Brock Lesnar, though Munoz is known as a superior technician. Munoz is still tinkering with his game, trying to adapt his wrestling to MMA and discarding habits and particular moves that might lead to trouble inside of the cage. For example, at Oklahoma State University, Munoz was known for his high-crotch takedowns, low single legs, scrambling ability, snap downs and defense. He’ll be bringing some of that arsenal into the cage with him, but not all of it.
“High crotches leave you vulnerable for guillotines, armbars and triangles because you’re isolating one side of the body,” Munoz said. “As far as the low single, I think that’s something that can work. There are times where you can get caught with a guillotine if you leave your head in the middle, but if you keep your head at the knee, you can finish by bringing the leg into your armpit and elevating him to his back.
“I think explosive moves will work better in MMA than low-single leg attacks and high crotches. I use single legs and doubles now. And now I use the clinch a lot more. So I use trips and sweeps and stuff like that. “I’ve taken to striking very well. I’ve been fortunate enough to have great trainers at Fairtex. I think my striking is good and it’s constantly getting better.”
Munoz is currently training in Big Bear, Calif., with a camp that includes former UFC champ Tito Ortiz, Scott Smith, Dean Lister, Carlo Prater and Joe Riggs.
“I’ll be an exciting fighter,” Munoz said. “The fans will see slams and I think the fans will like the techniques and the aggression. I like to think of creative ways of doing damage. I’ve also dreamed of picking a guy up and doing a backflip with him. I’ve been trying to work on that.”

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