There are no real secrets when it comes to becoming a better competitor in mixed martial arts. The hard road is evident, and it takes a special individual to endure the struggles to securing their goals. Even as champion, a fighter’s mission is never complete. Their new position creates a new set of aspirations to become a standout fighter people will remember for years to come, rather than just another title holder. There are many characteristics that define a great competitor. Look at rising star Pedro Munhoz and you’ll see many of these characteristics. They place him in a class by himself.

Munhoz (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Munhoz (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Never falling short of extraordinary, Munhoz has emerged since 2009 to garner mass attention from fans, critics and peers alike. His persistence and dominance in action led him to a defining moment in his career in which he defeated UFC veteran Jeff Curran to become the Resurrection Fighting Alliance bantamweight champion. Seemingly at the top of his game with gold around his waist, the new champion has his eyes set now on reaching new plateaus in his evolution as a fighter.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Munhoz was able to capture a title belt. His achievement is by no means an overnight success story. Originating from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Munhoz was introduced to various martial arts disciplines at a very young age. Investing in years of training and testing his skills in countless competitions, Munhoz took this early foundation of knowledge and experience and turned it into a competitive edge in his current MMA venture.

“Martial Arts have always been a part of my life,” Munhoz told The MMA Corner. “I have been training since I was six years old, started practicing judo at eight years old, competing in grappling tournaments since I was 13, and had my first professional fight at the age of 21.”

Fast track to his daily grind as champion today and Munhoz’s ambitions have not declined. He continues to demonstrate a hard work ethic towards becoming the best at his craft. Even with the massive wave of combatants hunting for his title, the proud Brazilian feels no added pressure from the constant threat. Instead, he openly embraces each challenge. His desire for competition is the key ingredient to his mental outlook. It allows him to focus solely on putting everything on the line while testing himself in combat.

Munhoz (Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog)

Munhoz (Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog)

“I try not to put too much pressure on myself, because there will always be a challenge fighting a new opponent, especially in the RFA,” he admitted.

Surrounding yourself with the right people and receiving proper guidance is a key support system for getting far in MMA. Munhoz trains at Black House MMA, and his deadly submission game is supplemented with a mix of striking from legendary Chute Boxe Muay Thai expert Rafael Cordeiro and world-class grappling takedown expertise from MMA’s premiere wrestling coach, Kenny Johnson.

In addition to the great instruction Munhoz receives, the star-studded team lineup at Black House also breaths new meaning into his boost in confidence and accelerated skills that make Munhoz well prepared for any upcoming battles. Surrounded by the likes of UFC greats Lyoto Machida, Anderson Silva and other fight icons, Munhoz has gathered a wealth of knowledge in his growth to reach that pinnacle level in his career.

“It has been a blessing for me to be surrounded by great coaches and world-class athletes such as Lyoto and Anderson Silva, who have fought in the UFC, that I can learn from,” he said.

Friday, Jan. 24, marks another groundbreaking moment for the “Young Punisher” in his continued push to greatness. Taking on his first assignment as champion, Munhoz will be putting his bantamweight title on the line against undefeated prospect Billy Daniels at RFA 12, which airs live on AXS TV and takes place at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Both competitors hold unblemished fight records, and, with a title on the line, the stakes couldn’t be any higher. Munhoz and Daniels intend on holding nothing back in their effort to come out on top and putting on a fireworks display which could arguably earn them “Fight of the Night” honors on the card.

Optimistic, well-prepared and thriving off the pressure, Munhoz has all of the necessary characteristics to put the fight world on notice.

About The Author

Monta Wiley
Staff Writer

Monta Wiley is an aspiring sports journalist that has covered the world of MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He has been a regular contributor to US Combat Sports. Monta has a Bachelor's degree in Aviation Administration from California State University-Los Angeles. Outside of his writing, you can find Monta at the gym honing his BJJ technique.