Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Mark Munoz recently shared pictures (see them here) of his impressive transformation from a mirror-image of "Fat Bastard" from the "Austin Powers" movie franchise (his words, not mine) to a lean, mean "Filipino Wrecking Machine."
Following his second round technical knockout (TKO) loss to Chris Weidman at UFC on FUEL TV 4 last July, the former NCAA Division 1 wrestling champion ballooned all the way up to heavyweight status, weighing in at 261 pounds.
The loss -- which ended his four-fight win streak -- coupled with nagging injuries and new ones he suffered in his bout against "All American," forced Munoz into a deep depression in which he turned to food for comfort.
Basically, he ate because he was sad and was sad because he ate, a vicious cycle many people go through during troubling times in their lives. Wanting to motivate others who are going through tough times of their own, including weight gain, was one of the main reasons Munoz chose to share his transformation story.
He detailed the recent highs and lows he endured on his appearance during "The MMA Hour."
Check it out:
"Because I've been at the top a few times. I've been there and due to some unfortunate, unforeseen things that happened to me, I wasn't able to accomplish my goal, and that's to be a world champ, and that's what I want to become. That is something that I shoot for. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I take losses pretty bad. If you talk to my training partners they'll attest to that. But, at the same time, I rebound quickly. I'm resilient like that was as well, I learn from my mistakes. Not only from losing, but having the most turbulent year I had last year with backing out against Chael Sonnen and then seeing him being number one contender and fight for the title. Then I rushed back into it and fought Weidman and then my elbow still bothering me and in the process I end up breaking my foot. Then the doctors telling me that my foot was so bad that I had stay out for a year. That kind of threw me for a loop. I'm a fighter and this is how I make money, fighting. If I don't fight then I don't make money. I have a wife and four kids. This year I need to restructure everything and it was actually a blessing in disguise that it happened. Injuries, adversities and I was able to kind of like restructure everything."
"I felt like that wasn't me in the (Weidman) fight. That definitely was not me. For all the training partners that know me, they know that I didn't put my best foot forward, literally, my foot was broken in that fight. The doctor told me in the back that my fifth metatarsal is broken and that I needed six months to recover and three months to rehab and then I would be able to get back into the scene. The news right there was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. To be on the shelf was something that I didn't want to hear. I was like 'Fat Bastard' on Austin Powers. I ate because I was sad and I was sad because I ate. That's basically how it was, man. I went through all my comfort foods. I ate my fair share of bacon. I really did. I went to some other things, my mom's home cooking in the Philippines. I went to the Philippines and my family cooked feasts for me there and when I came home I just kept eating. I felt like I couldn't train, so I had to do something. That is something real a lot of people struggle with. When they get sad they look to food. I'm more open about it. I'm honest with what happens in my life and I confront it head on. That was something very real in my life and now when I look at someone that say's they're going through depression , I look through lenses of compassion and tell them this is how I was able to conquer it and hopefully I can help you. I want to help people and motivate them."
Food, for Munoz, was better than turning to drugs, as "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" revealed he never even thought about turning to any type of banned substance as an escape.
After losing an astounding 62 pounds, thanks to the help of his team and trainers, Munoz expects the weight cut down to 185 pounds to be smooth sailing as he prepares to face Tim Boetsch at UFC 162 this weekend (July 6, 2013) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
He's done the work to get back into fighting shape, but will those impressive results translate to a victory against "The Barbarian?"
Time will tell.