As predicted, “Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Muñoz’s fate has been sealed when he agreed to face Lyoto Machida in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) octagon. The Phones4U arena in Manchester, England was sold out and Mix Martial Arts fans had a treat on the evening of October 26, 2013.
Lyoto Machida, a former light heavyweight champion is obviously the top choice of the night for the betting audience. Machida did not change his style of fighting but instead he changed the tempo for Muñoz’s. Both men have grappling skills, but the ground is Muñoz’s territory, in which Machida would not allow himself to go into and sacrifice his victory.
For Muñoz, it was quite a surprise that Machida did not close in to display his own brand of body control. From the time they were called to engage, Machida knows what to do with this wrestling scenario. A couple of body shots were offered to Muñoz and quite surprisingly too that Muñoz did not see what’s coming next. A top level Karate expert, Machida obviously can deliver a destructive roundhouse. The same roundhouse kick that knocked the lights out of many Kyokushin fighters over the past decades. It’s an old formula that needs no reinvention. The wrecking machine attempted to cover his head but compared to a forearm, a hand doesn’t give enough protection.
Muñoz wasn’t knocked out cold, but he was shaken big time. An intensity 10 that cannot be recovered even with a flash K.O. Hands up to the “Dragon” Machida for showing the quality of his character by not pounding on his former training partner. It’s a clean sport and every sportsman should know when to draw the line.
It’s two steps back for “The Filipino Wrecking Machine,” and Muñoz needs more fights inside the octagon to be able to gain more experience. UFC put on a good show although many think that this match is still raw and shouldn’t have happened yet. A salute to Muñoz for being a real professional fighter who did a lot of homework and delivered his best inside the octagon.
“Mumbakki” Daniel Foronda is an MMA champion and a Filipino martial arts expert. He is currently based in Russia where he is a combat tactical trainer to the country’s Military Special Forces.