Mark Munoz (13-4, 8-4 UFC) is a man that knows exactly just how important his main event bout against Gegard Mousasi (34-4-2, 1-1 UFC) is this Saturday night on UFC Fight Night.
Speaking at the UFC’s media workouts this week in the Supercrossfit in Berlin, Munoz acknowledged the weight of importance of this fight coming off his knockout loss to Lyoto Machida.
“Obviously this is a very important fight for me,” he admitted. “You know I gotta come in a get a win coming off of a loss; you always have to redeem yourself. I trained hard. I’m ready, I’m prepared for this fight and this is an important fight because we’re right there, we’re right there in the mix. Should we win this fight we’re a step closer to fighting for a title, and that’s probably one more fight after this fight. This is a very important fight.”
Munoz is a shade more optimistic about his title aspirations that opponent Gegard Mousasi, who reckons he is at least three victories away from a shot at the champion. This may come from bringing in a sports psychologist for this camp, one of many changes he’s made since the Machida defeat.
“I made some changes in my stand-up coach. I have a sports psychologist that I’m working with now, who’s worked with a plethora, that’s a good word,” the 36-year old said, grinning, “a plethora of athletes who are professional and amateur and I’ve brought in different guys from my camp.
“At the Reign training centre I don’t really have to bring in that many people,” he continued. “I mean I’ve got the likes of Chael Sonnen coming in, [Michael] Bisping, Uriah Hall, Brendan Schaub, Jake Ellenberger, Tom Watson. I have Bellator fighters there – Brett Cooper, I’m forgetting someone I know, sorry guys! There’s a lot of guys training there so I don’t really need to bring that many people. I just need to cement my game plan and strategize that way and make sure that it’s instinct. You know, I don’t have to think about it. Because when you think you don’t actually do it in the cage.”
Obviously I’m a wrestler. I want to take him down, and I want to pound him out. That’s it.
So what is “The Filipino Wrecking Machine’s” game plan? As you would expect.
“My game plan? Are you gonna tell Gegard,” he asked in jest. “Don’t, don’t, please. Obviously I’m a wrestler. I want to take him down, and I want to pound him out. That’s it.
“He’s shown that he’s got some short-comings in wrestling,” he continued when asked about Mousasi’s skills, or lack thereof, in the wrestling department. “He’s shown that. But I bet he’s been working on it because he’s fighting a wrestler obviously. But we’re gonna see, we’re gonna see and he’s gonna be tested. And that’s why we compete. That’s why we fight, so we can see the preparation that each of us put in and we’ll see how it goes.”
To see whether Munoz’s preparation bears fruit, be sure to tune into UFC Fight Pass and BT Sport in Ireland and the U.K. as Mark Munoz headlines the event against Gegard Mousasi live from the O2 World Arena in Berlin, Germany this Saturday night from 8 p.m.
Stay posted to TalkingBrawlsMMA.com all this week for more content on location for UFC Fight Night Berlin and on Twitter at @TBMMAdotcom!