MARK Muñoz seeks to show what the Filipino is made of as he leads the four Pinoys seeing action in UFC Fight Night Manila on Saturday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Coming off three straight losses and four in his last five fights, the US-raised full-blooded Filipino mixed martial artist tries to put a fitting end to his roller-coaster career as he fights in front of the home crowd for the first and last time, facing Luke Barnatt of England in the main undercard.
“I didn’t think it was in me, but I am a fighter, just like all of us Filipinos,” said Muñoz, who was bullied in high school then found confidence when he learned wrestling.
“We’re fighters, regardless of any storm that comes; we’re resilient and we come back.”
Muñoz successfully passed his weight test on the eve of the inaugural offering of the world’s premier MMA organization in the Philippines.
“I feel great,” Muñoz smiled after making the middleweight limit at 186 pounds. “This is a chance of a lifetime, so you guys will not be disappointed.”
The taller, younger Barnatt, who weighed 200 pounds on Thursday, surprisingly weighed a pound lighter than the Filipino pride, shedding 15 pounds in just one day to officially seal the matchup.
The three other Pinoys likewise hardly had problems making weight.
Mark Eddiva tipped the scales at 145 pounds, the same as American opponent Levan Makashvili for their featherweight fight, while fellow Baguio native Roldan Sangcha-an came in at 126 pounds, a pound heavier than flyweight foe Jon delos Reyes of Guam.
Lastly, Filipino-American Phillipe Nover weighed in at 145 pounds, just a pound lighter than Korean Yui Chul Nam for their featherweight bout.
The rest of the fighters in the historic 12-fight card made weight.
Royston Wee of Singapore initially weighed 137 pounds, one over the bantamweight limit, but eventually passed the test after being given an hour to lose, to lock up his matchup against Chinese Ning Guangyou.