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Mark Munoz has gone from wrestling to MMA in no time

When Mark Munoz steps inside the Octagon Saturday night to face Chris Leben at UFC 138, he will do so as a true Mixed Martial Artist and not just a former NCAA wrestling standout.

Munoz vs. Leben will be the main event of the night, and will become the first non-title fight five-round affair. The match could also go a long way in determining a future contender to UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva.

For Munoz, he just enjoys the thrill of fighting. After claiming an NCAA Division I wrestling championship while at Oklahoma State University, Munoz ventured into the MMA world as a relative newcomer to the sport.

“I do work extremely hard,” said Munoz, in a recent interview with the UFC’s website. “When I have something in my sights I basically put blinders on like race horses. I don’t let anything hold me back. A lot of my training partners say, ‘You over train, Munoz.’ But I feel like if you’re not over-training, then you’re not training.”

Munoz has rebounded from a tough loss to Yushin Okami, defeating Aaron Simpson, C.B. Dollaway, and Demian Maia to set himself up for this pivotal clash against Leben.

“I’m a fan of Chris Leben. I like how that dude fights. He is so exciting and our fight is going to be doubly exciting,” Munoz said. “I throw bombs and he throws bombs. I like being in the first five-round non-title fight, I love it. But a fight’s a fight. I don’t think this is going to go five rounds, but I definitely will be prepared if it goes five rounds.”


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