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Tag: Mark Munoz

UFC 96: The New Guys


(Ryan Magidan: The dude can kick.)

This week’s installment of "The New Guys" will be a brief one — there are only two Octagon first-timers on Saturday’s UFC 96 card. But both fighters are undefeated ass-kickers with the potential to shake things up in their divisions. So pay attention, because it’s time for us to drop some knowledge…

MARK MUNOZ (LHW)
?Experience: 5-0 record, with appearances in Gladiator Challenge and Palace Fighting Championship. Last two fights were in the WEC, where he scored first-round TKOs over Chuck Grigsby and Ricardo Barros.
Will be facing: Matt Hamill (5-2, all fights in the UFC)
?Lowdown: "The Philippine Wrecking Machine" comes from a decorated amateur wrestling background; while competing at Oklahoma State University as a 197-pounder, he scored two Big 12 titles and became the first Filipino-American to win a Division I National Championship. It was Munoz’s friend Urijah Faber who first convinced him to try his hand at MMA, and Munoz now trains out of Faber’s Ultimate Fitness gym in Sacramento. Jesus is his homeboy.

RYAN MADIGAN (WW)
?Experience: 5-0 record (all wins by stoppage within the first two rounds) in regional leagues including Gladiators Cage Fighting and Close Quarters Combat.
Will be facing: Tamdan McCrory (10-2, 2-2 UFC)
Lowdown: A ferocious striker, Ryan "The Lion" honed his kickboxing chops in Chuck Norris’s World Combat League, and is the current IKF East Coast middleweight champion. The Ohio-based fighter is a member (and striking coach) of the Jungle Fight Team, where he trains under Chris Chard, and is also an instructor at the Evolve Training Center in Medina, OH. According to his bio, his favorite TV show is The Bachelor. Seriously?

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Bader Draws Former UFC Heavyweight for First Post-TUF Appearance

Carmelo Marrero UFC MMA
(Carmelo Marrero winds up to club Rafael Real at a WCO event in November 2007. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

FiveOuncesofPain is reporting that TUF 8 light-heavyweight winner Ryan Bader — who defeated Vinny Magalhaes last month to win the show’s six-figure contract — will be returning to action at UFC Fight Night 18 (April 1st, Nashville). His opponent will be Carmelo Marrero (10-2), an American Top Team fighter who went 1-2 in the UFC in 2006-2007. Marrero made his Octagon debut as a heavyweight at UFC 64, where he scored an upset split-decision over Cheick Kongo. Unfortunately, he then took a first-round loss via armbar to Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 66, and was then choked out by Wilson Gouveia at UFC 71 after dropping to light-heavyweight; Marrero was released by the UFC shortly after. Since then, "The Fury" has gone 4-0 with one no-contest, most recently winning a split decision over Steve Steinbless at WEC 36 in November — and earning a return trip back to the UFC.

In other UFC news…

— A little higher up the light-heavyweight ladder, Matt Hamill (5-2) will reportedly be welcoming WEC vet Mark Munoz (5-0) to the Octagon at UFC 96 (March 7th, Columbus). A former NCAA wrestling champion at Oklahoma State and current protege of Urijah Faber, Munoz scored first-round TKO victories in his last two fights, against Ricardo Barros at WEC 37 last month and Chuck Grigsby at WEC 34 in June. Hamill most recently defeated Reese Andy by second-round TKO at last month’s UFC 92.

Randy Couture will most likely face Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in his next fight, but not until the second half of this year. Couture had to undergo surgery recently to remove a pair of abnormally large bone spurs from his elbow, which means he’ll be out rehabbing for a while.

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Nate Diaz vs. Clay Guida Added to “St. Pierre vs. Penn II”

Nate Diaz UFC MMA
("We could do this shit right here, if you want." Photo courtesy of FiveOuncesofPain.)

Though it was originally scheduled for this month’s TUF 8 finale, the bout between UFC lightweights Nate Diaz and Clay Guida was postponed when Guida injured his foot in training. Now, GracieFighter is reporting that the matchup has been added to UFC 94 (January 31st, Las Vegas), in the supporting card for the Georges St. Pierre/BJ Penn superfight; it should be mentioned that the pairing hasn’t yet been added to the official lineup on UFC.com.

Diaz has won all five of his matches in the Octagon, most recently a split decision against Josh Neer at UFC Fight Night 15 in September. Though Guida’s 4-3 record in the UFC is a bit spottier, his last performance (also at UFN 15) proved that he shouldn’t be overlooked, as he used dominating wrestling to neutralize all of Mac Danzig’s weapons and score the unanimous decision win.

In other UFC news…

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