Mark Muñoz, a retired mixed martial artist, rose to prominence as a middleweight fighter in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). He was born to Filipino immigrants on February 9, 1978, in Vallejo, California. Muñoz has always been proud of his Filipino background. His parents immigrated to the United States in quest of a better life and chances for his family.

Muñoz went to Vallejo High School and was reared in a neighborhood in Vallejo that is predominately Filipino. In high school, he was a standout wrestler, and he continued wrestling at Oklahoma State University. Muñoz won the Big 12 Conference Championship and was a two-time NCAA Division I All-American during his wrestling career.

Muñoz decided to pursue a career in mixed martial arts (MMA) after graduating from college, and in 2007 he made his professional debut. He established himself rapidly, winning his first six fights to land a deal with the UFC. For several years, Muñoz competed in UFC, going up against some of the top competitors in the world, including Lyoto Machida and Chris Weidman, who were formerly UFC champions.

In addition to having a great MMA career, Muñoz has supported the Filipino-American community. He has used his platform as a professional athlete to raise awareness and promote Filipino culture. Muñoz has also participated in a number of charitable organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Club America and the Philippine Children’s Fund of America.

Muñoz has always placed a high value on his Filipino background. In an interview with UFC, he said, “Being Filipino is something I take great pride in. I was born and raised here in America, but my parents instilled a lot of their culture in me.”. Muñoz has also talked about how he was inspired by Manny Pacquiao, a fellow Filipino boxer and politician.

Muñoz left MMA in 2015 and started his own gym in California called Reign Training Center. The gym offers a variety of training programs, including MMA, boxing, and wrestling. Muñoz has stayed active in the MMA scene by working as a coach and commentator.

Muñoz’s story is a testament to the Filipino-American community’s resilience and the impact that immigrants can make in the United States. Muñoz’s success in MMA and his advocacy for Filipino culture have been an inspiration to many, and he has become a role model for young Filipino-Americans.


Photo Courtesy: Esther Lin, MMA fighting

Authored by: Jherome Santos 

Jherome Santos is a Business Administration Department Intern of PS Media Enterprise. A driven and ambitious fourth-year student pursuing Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Marketing Management at University of Santo Tomas. He has a passionate commitment to advocating for an equal playing field, regardless of one’s race, gender, or socio-economic status. Also, He is dedicated to breaking down the barriers that prevent people from reaching their full potential.

Nicole Anne Manzo

Nicole Anne Manzo is an Online Journalism intern of PS Media Enterprise. She is currently a 4th-year BA Communication student at the San Pablo Colleges, San Pablo City,Laguna.

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