What happens to a “Filipino Wrecking Machine” when it runs out of gas? Mark Munoz is quickly finding out the answer to that question.

That’s because Munoz is currently riding a two-fight losing streak that has many people calling for him to hang up the gloves. He was recently tapped out by Gegard Mousasi and was floored by a head kick from Lyoto Machida prior to that. Munoz was at least able to squeeze in a nice performance against Tim Boetsch to help erase some of the memory of his destruction by Chris Weidman in 2012, but that’s hardly enough to keep him afloat.

It’s not a position Munoz or MMA fans could’ve envisioned for him back in 2011. Munoz was on a hot streak then, winning four consecutive bouts. His name was coming up in middleweight title discussions, and he was emerging as a fan-favorite. Munoz then battled personal demons and delivered lackluster performances en route to where we are now.

Right now, Munoz is not under contract with the UFC. That leaves him at a bit of a crossroads. He has a successful gym in California and could very likely settle into a coaching gig. At 36 years of age and with his best days clearly behind him, who could blame him for calling it a career? It’s become obvious that he can’t hang with the middleweight elite. Outside of playing gatekeeper, there aren’t too many options for him in the UFC.

The problem for Munoz, should he keep competing, is that his game hasn’t evolved. He’s always been a hulking middleweight, possessing powerful punches along with some of the most thunderous ground-and-pound that MMA fans have ever witnessed. But all that power is useless without the proper technique to apply it. He got away with the lack of technique when facing mid- to lower-level competition, but he struggled mightily once he started facing the upper half of the division.

Another problem Munoz has struggled with is translating his impressive amateur wrestling credentials into MMA success. We’ve seen plenty of high-level wrestlers who excelled at the collegiate level and struggled in MMA. Munoz is another example of that type of fighter. He won a national championship at Oklahoma State, one of the best colleges for wrestling, but hasn’t figured things out in the MMA world. His 24 percent takedown accuracy is indicative of how Munoz’s supposed advantage hasn’t been useful to him in the Octagon.

With a skill set that’s limited, Munoz is going to find tough sledding if he continues to face the top guys in his weight class. He was ranked inside the top 10 prior to the Mousasi loss, and he could possibly still fall in the top 15 if he re-signs with the UFC. There’s still some drawing power left from the Munoz name, given his good standing with fans, but Munoz now needs to either accept his role as a gatekeeper or move on to other ventures. Considering how many fan-favorites we’ve seen fall (and fall hard), let’s hope Munoz either steps away from the cage or makes smarter decisions about who he wants to fight.

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.