mark-munoz-18.jpgI’m probably not telling you anything you couldn’t have already guessed when I say that Mark Munoz‘s most recent loss was a tough one to swallow.

There’s really no other way for it to go when you start the night as a rising contender on a four-fight win streak and end it face down in a pool of your own blood. Before he met Chris Weidman in the main event of a FUEL TV fight card this past July, people wondered how many wins Munoz might be from a middleweight title shot. Afterward, they just wondered why the ref didn’t stop it sooner.

Those of us watching on TV that night, we knew that was probably a low point for Munoz. We guessed at it, as best we could. But then the fight was over and we changed the channel. We had bills and dinner plans and families to worry about, and the next thing we knew it was a couple months later and we heard that Munoz was injured, maybe, or possibly that he had been injured and was just now learning the full extent of it, and anyway we weren’t going to see him in the cage a for a little while and that was that. So we stopped thinking about him. Every once in a while someone would mention Weidman, usually in a conversation about Anderson Silva, and then we’d remember, oh yeah, Munoz. Maybe we even wondered how he was doing. Maybe we didn’t.

Now that he’s past it, Munoz can admit how bad things were back then. “I kind of went into a depression,” he told ( backstage at the UFC on FOX 7 event in April.

That seems like about what you’d expect after a fight like that. What’s harder to realize – especially in a sport that encourages us only to think about a person in the week or two before a fight and the few days, or maybe even hours after – is that it didn’t start or end with the loss to Weidman.

According to Munoz, he showed up to that fight injured. He’d hurt his foot in training, and hurt it badly enough that he couldn’t run on it. Making weight was “a struggle,” according to Munoz, and even his appearance had started to mess with his psyche.

“Getting into that fight I actually saw myself on fight day and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this does not look like me,’” Munoz said. “It threw me for a loop then.”

As he would later tell Radio (, he’d come into the fight with a stress fracture in his foot, but didn’t feel like he could withdraw from the main-event bout, especially since an elbow injury had forced him to pull out of the one before it, when he was slated to fight Chael Sonnen at a UFC on FOX event in January 2012.

“I didn’t want to be the guy to back out twice,” Munoz said in September.

So he stayed in the fight. He figured he’d suck it up and get through it. He was, after all, a professional fighter. This kind of thing might as well be in the job description.

“So then when I lost and in the fashion that I lost, that was the low point right there,” Munoz said. “After that it took me about a week to say, ‘What are you doing? Dust off the cobwebs, just stop thinking about it, and move on.’”

Only when he tried to move on, some bad news made it even harder. His doctor told him he’d broken his fourth and fifth metatarsal, Munoz said. He could be out for up to a year.

“That was the straw that broke the camel’s back right there,” Munoz said.

Not only was he sidelined from fighting, he was ruled out of training. He walked around with a boot on his foot. If he took it off, his wife yelled at him. If he tried to hit mitts with it on, she made him stop. When he’d watch the other fighters from his Reign Training Center work out or compete, it nearly drove him crazy. He couldn’t do anything, and he was not the type of person who was used to doing nothing. With his usual outlets unavailable, he turned to food. He gained weight. Like, a lot of weight.

“It killed me for six months not to do anything,” Munoz said. “… For a guy like me just not to do anything, it put me in a tailspin. … I ate because I was sad and I was sad because I ate. That was the thing.”

But if you see him now, as he’s ramping up for a bout with Tim Boetsch at UFC 162 this summer, you’d never guess he’d spent the better part of the past year in a deep, dark psychological hole. Outwardly, he seems to be the same happy, gregarious man he was before. He’s even lost all that weight. By the time you turn on the TV to watch him fight in July, it’ll likely seem like not much has changed since his fight with Weidman almost exactly one year earlier. There’s Munoz, back again, as if he’s been frozen in a lab somewhere, just waiting for the UFC to push the button that drops him in the cage. There’s Weidman, at the top of the card, fighting the champ.

What we don’t know – what we rarely see with pro fighters – is everything that took place between then and now. According to Munoz, that’s the stuff that sometimes matters the most.

“I wouldn’t say sports builds character; I’d say character is revealed through sport,” Munoz said. “… I think adversity is the dust that polishes the diamond. It’s a bump in the road for me. It’s part of my story. Now I’m back on the horse and I’m riding again.”

It feels like a sports cliche, which is to say it feels almost meaningless when you simply hear about it after the fact. When you have to live through it, however, it’s another story.

And we hear that story all the time, don’t we? Fighters promising that they’re different people now, a brand new so on and so forth. But what if it was actually true? What if it happened in that time when we were watching other stuff on TV, doing other things with our lives? How would we even know?

For the latest on UFC 162, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Rousey vs. Holm: Latest UFC 193 Odds, Predictions and Pre-Fight Twitter Hype

  • 17 days ago

UFC is giving fight fans an early holiday treat with Ronda Rousey's return to the Octagon, as the undefeated bantamweight champion puts her title on the line against undefeated challenger Holly Holm read news >>

Video: Ronda Rousey's full UFC 193 workout for fans and media in Australia

  • 18 days ago

MELBOURNE, Australia – There’s very little we can tell you about Ronda Rousey that you don’t already know. So instead, we will just let the moving pictures do the talking. Check out Ronda Rousey’s fu read news >>

Energized By Fans, Ronda Rousey Embraces Her UFC 193 Moment

  • 19 days ago

On the threshold of UFC 193 and an expected record-setting crowd at Etihad Stadium for Ronda Rousey’s UFC bantamweight title defense against undefeated Holly Holm, the champion is energized and embra read news >>

Video: Australian fight fans steal the show at festive UFC 193 open workouts

  • 19 days ago

MELBOURNE, Australia – The fighters were the star attractions at today’s UFC 193 open workouts, but Australian fight fans stole the show.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Thomas Almeida hosts coming out party in hometown of Sao Paulo

  • 23 days ago

Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira, Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo ... Brazilian fans are not lacking in UFC superstars. In the wee hours of Sunday morning at the Ibirapuera Gymnasium, Thomas Almeida, another c read news >>

Joe Silva’s Shoes: What's next for UFC Fight Night 77's winners?

  • 22 days ago

After every event, fans wonder whom the winners will be matched up with next. And with another night of UFC action in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward, put on a pair of Joe Silva and Se read news >>

Fedor Returns on Special Spike TV Early Morning Broadcast of New Year’s Eve Fight Card

  • 23 days ago

Spike TV is helping MMA fans ring out 2015 with a special late morning broadcast of the highly anticipated return of Fedor Emeliananko. read news >>

UFC Relaunches New York Website

  • 25 days ago

UFC® Relaunches Website Giving New York Fans a Way to Provide Momentum for Legalizing Mixed Martial Arts in NY in 2016 read news >>

Bellator books Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock 3, 'Kimbo' vs. 'Dada 5000' Bellator 149

  • 24 days ago

ST. LOUIS – Fans in St. Louis were expecting to see an announcement of a Kurt Angle signing with Bellator and an announcement of a fight booking. Instead, Angle announced Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamroc read news >>

Holly Holm Could Ruin Ronda Rousey for Mainstream Fans

  • 25 days ago

It hasn't taken long for Ronda Rousey has become the biggest star in combat sports. One of the major components of her ever-growing mythos is her ability to finish her opponents in quick, clean fashi read news >>