Former UFC middleweight contender Mark Munoz has been placed on administrative leave from his job as a high-school wrestling coach after allowing two of his students to box each other.
First reported by TMZ, Munoz let two of his students fight one another when asked if they could put on boxing-gloves and spar. Munoz, who claims to be unaware of the fact that the students had an argument prior, agreed and let the fight commence. Sources told TMZ that the UFC-veteran believed the scrap was more “jovial” than “violent”.
When the occurrence was reported back to the school, he was immediately placed on administrative leave until the end of the school year. Since then it has been announced that Munoz’ contract, which expires at the end of said year, will not be renewed.
“(He) will not be returning to campus,” A spokesperson said regarding Mark Munoz.
Prior to his eight-year career in MMA, Munoz was a standout wrestler, competing in the sport since the age of thirteen. A two-time All American and NCAA National Champion, “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” was hired as a wrestling coach in September of 2020 at the high-school, which is located in California.
This hiring followed his retirement from the sport of MMA back in 2015, where in his final fight he picked up an unanimous-decision win over Luke Barnatt in the Philippines. After making his debut in 2007, Munoz went on to fight a roster of his era’s most notable names – including the likes of former UFC champions Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida. During this time he also managed to best the likes of Damian Maia, C.B Dollaway and Chris Leben along the way.
Munoz recently made a statement to MMA Junkie regarding the incident, where he clarified that there were no ill-intentions.
“With every ounce of who I am, I desire to be a positive influence on kids, to teach kids to be the very best wrestlers, to speak loudly against bullying, and to honour my Lord Jesus Christ. There are thousands of wrestlers who I have coached that would affirm those truths from first-hand experience. Under no circumstance would I encourage kids to settle a dispute through fighting.
If his latest Instagram post is anything to go by, it seems as if the 44 year-old plans to continue sharing his knowledge of the mats to the future generations.