(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?