After reading Akrypti’s post on Asian men as villains, I really appreciated this video of Mark Munoz, a strong, powerful Asian guy who can kick butt but isn’t a trash talking heel. He is at a press conference held after he TKO’ed Chris Leben at UFC 138’s main event. Munoz genially covers a variety of topics, including an epiphany during a training session with the current UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva who he wants to challenge for the title.
One of “The Filipino Wrecking Machine’s” more interesting points regards his opponent Chris Leben’s granite chin. He said that Leben walked through a number of his best punches and that he hit Leben hard enough to break one of the knuckles in his hand. Ouch. Leben couldn’t continue after the second round. “Hard to fight when you’re choking on blood,” Leben said.
Munoz’s “Bruce Lee moment” with Anderson is fascinating for a number of reasons. Munoz has trained extensively with Anderson Silva, learning striking while teaching wrestling (Munoz was a Division I NCAA wrestling champion). Silva taught him in an unusual way, almost like in a martial arts movie, about how to mentally approach fighting. While Munoz regards Silva as a friend, he still called him out for a title challenge. Silva reportedly wasn’t happy about that, but Munoz tried to patch things up.
As one writer put it, Munoz can simultaneously be vicious and polite. Interesting combo, and a welcome image of an Asian American man.