TUALATIN, OR - JUNE 26: Chael Sonnen conducts a workout at the Team Quest gym on June 26, 2012 in Tualatin, Oregon. Sonnen will fight Anderson Silva July 7, 2012 at UFC 148 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
After losing out on a number one contender's match against Chael Sonnen at UFC on Fox 2 due to injury, Mark Munoz is ready to stake his claim as the next challenger to Anderson Silva's throne by attempting to get past the undefeated Chris Weidman this Wednesday night (July 11, 2012) at UFC on Fuel TV 4, which emanates from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California.
After receiving the bad news that he would have to bow out of his fight against Sonnen, Munoz says it took him awhile to get past the unfortunate situation of missing the possibility to fight for a world title. So much so, that Munoz admits he cried.
There's nothing wrong with a man crying, especially after working so hard and winning four very tough fights and being so close to vie for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) gold, only to have an injury take it all away.
Now, seven months later, after receiving great support from the people around him "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" is fully healed both physically and mentally and is determined to pick up where he left off by being the first blemish on "The All American's" perfect record.
Speaking on The MMA Hour, Munoz recounts the struggles he went through during his time off and also reveals he received an unexpected offer from the man he was originally set to face, Chael Sonnen.
Check it out:
"I was actually really down, I was down. After watching that fight it was crazy. After seeing Chael's performance and Bisping's performance, I was like, 'That could have been me.' I could have put a really good performance inside the Octagon, so I was down. I'm just going to be real, I'm real right now. I cried man. That was my opportunity and this and that and I could have been number one contender and it was really hard for me. I had people just encouraging me. I'm a religious guy, and in my mind of faith, people were just pouring over me saying, 'Hey, this is your story. This is what you're going to go through. Adversity is the dust that polishes a diamond. You're a diamond brother, you're going to go through this and you're going to shine at the end of this. Life is 10-percent of what happens to you and 90-percent of how you react to it. This is your story, have a great attitude, get your head out of your butt and start training.' I was down for about three months after the injury. I couldn't snap out of it and I was training and people were like, 'Munoz, what's wrong with you?' And I was like, 'I'm, good.' But it was affecting me. After those three months, I had twelve weeks to get back in shape and I truly believe adversity makes a fighter who he his and a person who they are. I'm so in shape right now. I'm better in shape than I was with Chris Leben and I broke him in the second round. I've been working on my striking and it is great and my MMA wrestling and my transitions are good and I'm feeling good for this fight. I'm going in there confident and on fire so you're going to see a ferocious 'Philipino Wrecking Machine,' for sure."
Munoz also revealed that Chael Sonnen offered to help pay for his surgery to assist his unfortunate circumstance:
"Yes, that is very true. And for everyone that hates Chael Sonnen, Chael Sonnen is actually a guy that is a very compassionate person. He actually extended his hand to me and he goes, 'If you need any financial help, I will help you out. I know how much this fight meant to you and I will help you out.' That speaks volumes about him man, it really does. I was like, 'Man thank you Chael, I really appreciate that and if I really do need it, I will ask for it, but I am good.' Despite what people may think about him, he is actually a really good person."
Very nice gesture indeed.
In a sport that involves one athlete kicking and punching another (legally) for the sake of winning, it's refreshing to see the softer side of these extraordinary fighters. Not that any of you hardcore mixed martial arts (MMA) fans need any explanation just how genuine these athletes are, and aren't just a bunch of savages looking to take each other's heads off, but some other people might need a reminder.
How about Maniacs, can Munoz return to full form following his long layoff and injury and earn his shot at facing "The Spider?" Or will Weidman have his coming out party in California?