A little bit of Mark; A letter from Mark Munoz’s wife

Wow, this is such an inspirational letter from Mark Munoz’s wife. Especially right before his fight at the MGM in UFC 108 and the New Year. I had to share it with everyone so they can see great character Mark Munoz has. Not only does he have great character and perseverance, he has a great wife behind him supporting him too. It’s always nice to see the other side of the fighter, and by the other side, I’m talking about the supportive side from the significant other. Thank you Mark and Kristi Munoz!

Here is the letter:

Hey Everyone,

Just thought I would share this with you all before the weekend!

Probably the thing I admire most about Mark is his ability and desire to follow his dreams with all of his heart! Many of you might not know this about him, but when he was in high school he broke all the bones in his ankle and was told he might not ever walk again. He was told he would definitely never play football again (which was his passion at the time). Being as active as he was, he was determined to prove the doctors wrong. Instead of letting it get him down, he turned his focus to wrestling. It took him only 3 months to ditch the crutches and by 7 months he had won his first high school state wrestling championship. 1 year later he won the High School National Championship, the top 189 pound wrestler in the country!

He then went off to college to Oklahoma State University, which holds the most NCAA Championship titles in collegiate history. He knew in his heart he would win at least one championship there. His junior year he went into the championship tournament seeded #1, but was derailed in the semifinals by one of his nemesis. He finished 3rd that year. But his senior year, nothing stood in his way. He was determined, and it showed. In 2001, he earned the top spot as the 197 pound NCAA Division I National Champion.

After college, he got a coaching position at UC Davis, only 30 minutes from his hometown. It was there that he met Urijah, one of the up and coming MMA stars at the time. Urijah, who wrestled at Davis, was constantly encouraging Mark to try fighting. Mark had 3 kids at the time, was working towards his masters degree, and was coaching full time. He was not interested in fighting…until December 2006, when he attended the New Year’s UFC year end event (Ortiz vs. Liddell). He felt his heart pumping as the lights went out and the crowd was roaring. He watched as Liddell took out Ortiz, and he thought “I could do that”. This was the moment he decided he wanted to try his hand at fighting. He said he would be there someday. A year and a half later, on June 1, 2008, he walked out for his first big WEC fight at Arco Arena. The crowd went crazy! I remember looking at my brother, both of us with tears in our eyes, thinking he had reached his dream. Win or lose, it didn’t matter. He had reached the place he set his mind upon.

Which brings us to this weekend, and the reason I am writing this email! I came across this picture of our family at Lego Land a couple years back. Mark was 1-0 in his career as a fighter at the time. He stood in front of the MGM lego statue, put his fist in the air and said, “Take a picture Kris! I will be fighting here one day!”

Mark may not be as quick as the next guy, he may not have the better footwork or the better punch, or maybe he does I don’t know…but what he does have is the will and desire to work hard at everything he does. Not just in his athletic life, but his personal life, his family life, and his spiritual life. He is the most amazing person I have ever met, and I just wanted to share a little bit of him with you before we head out this weekend.

Can’t wait to celebrate this weekend with you all! See you at the MGM!

P.S. Check out the attached picture if you get a chance!

With Love Always,
Kristi “The proud wife”

Merry Christmas – Maligayang Pasko!

OMG time flew by so quickly. I can’t believe Christmas is already here. I have to admit on Christmas Eve Eve I am going to be one of those last minute Christmas shoppers. It’s always hard to find that perfect gift, especially for someone you care about. I personally love handmade thoughtful gifts. They are always creative and more sentimental. That’s why I love me some Build-A-Bear lol. Oh and PICTURES! Gentlemen, here is a tip… women love pictures in picture frames!

I’m really looking forward to being with my family on Christmas. All I keep thinking about is my moms cooking, eating the lumpia we wrapped on Thanksgiving, and my manang Dawn’s Christmas cookies. One thing I’m going to miss is my brother presence. He is in the Navy and stationed in Atsugi, Japan. Out of 27 years, this will be my first Christmas without him. Breaks my heart knowing that he wont be here for the holiday but at least he is saving more leave time to come visit for the more important things like when my grandmother passes away. I’m about to break down in tears just writing that, but it is what it is. I hate knowing that she is dying and suffering everyday. My prayers for her to heal have now turned to asking God to please take her with him so she can be with my grandpa… and it breaks my heart 🙁 When I’m with her I try to spend as much time with her as much as possible…

Anyway, I’m happy I get to see my grandmother and my family this holiday. I have the greatest family and I’m thankful I’m blessed with them. This holiday is always about cherishing family with good times and I definitely can’t wait!

Merry Christmas – Maligayang Pasko! I hope you have a great holiday with your family. Peace and Blessings to you all.

GymPass: Bonus Feature with Eddie Bravo

I got a chance to have a few words with the man behind 10th Planet jiu jitsu, Eddie Bravo! Check it out…

GymPass: Bonus Feature with Rudy V (BJ Penn’s head coach & mentor)

This is Rudy Valentino, BJ Penn’s head coach and trainer. Check it out as I got a chance to have a few words with the Champ’s mentor.

Autograph signing with Jake Shields. Proceeds to go the Children’s Hospital

Today Jake Shields is signing autographs at Eastridge mall in San Jose, CA from 6-8PM for MMA-KO. As their Miss August, they invited me to be a special guest and sign autographs with Jake. I support MMA-KO because they are all from the Central Valley… the 209, where I grew up. And anyone from that area knows it’s hard to make a dollar out of fifteen cents.

Don’t be alarmed by the fee for autographs. There is obviously no fee for mine lol, but for Jake’s. All proceeds go to the Children’s Hospital of Oakland.

If you’re in the bay area for Strikeforce come by and check it out!