Filipino-American Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star Mark Muñoz hang his gloves on a high note after winning against the much younger Luke Barnatt of Great Britain in his last appearance inside the octagon during the Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night Manila at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.
Muñoz, best known for his impressive victories inside the world-famous stage of the UFC against notable fighters such as Chris Leben and C.B. Dollaway, bid adieu to his MMA prize-fighting career with a win to end his three-game losing skid and write the final chapter in his 14-6 win-loss card.
The wrestler turned MMA fighter immediately took the upper hand in his first and last bout in his family’s home country against his English rival, showing off his striking and grappling capabilities to put an exclamation point to his career with a unanimous decision victory.
“I left the Octagon but I’m leaving the legacy of treating people the way I want to be treated. I’m known as one of the nicest guys in the UFC and there’s a reason for it. That’s the Filipino way: you respect and you’re respected back,” stressed the “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” during his post-fight interview.
He added that he felt good about fighting in front of his Filipino fans.
“It’s just amazing being in the Philippines. This is where it all started for my family and it just feels awesome to be here. It’s a storybook ending here in the Philippines. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending and I thank God I was able to end my career here.”
The former US NCAA Division 1 wrestling champion vowed to continue his legacy in the world of martial arts by imparting his wisdom to the younger generation especially to the Filipino youth.
Meanwhile, Freddie Edgar relied on superb boxing skills and counter-punching to defeat fellow American Urijah Faber via unanimous decision while Phillipe Nover scored a split decision win over Korean Bulldozer Yui Chul Nam.
Filipino-Guamanian Jon Delos Reyes submitted Team Lakay’s Roldan Sangcha-an via rear naked choke in flyweight and Filipino Mark Eddiva was outwrestled by American Levan Makashvili via split decision in their featherweight fight.
In other results, China’s Yao Zhukui won via split decision against Filipino-American Nolan Ticman in flyweight bout; Chinese Ning Guangyou beat Singapore’s Royston Wee via second round technical knockout in bantamweight fight; Li Jingliang defeated Dhiego Lima of Brazil via first round knockout in welterweight bout; and Kajan Johnson beat Zhang Lipeng via unanimous decision in lightweight fight.