Mark Munoz went back to his wrestling roots in Manila today to earn a unanimous decision victory over Luke Barnatt and end his career on a high note.
Barnatt pumping out the jab here as he tries to establish his range. Munoz swing hard in return.
Barnatt targets the body with a knee. Jab for Barnatt and a punch in return from Munoz just wings past his opponents head.
In close they go and Munoz gets an early takedown – that’s big for his gameplan. Barnatt back to his feet, but Munoz stays tight with the body lock and keeps him pressed up against the cage.
Munoz unloads with punches and Barnatt doesn’t look too comfortable in this spot. Munoz unloads again. Now Munoz is back on a takedown, but Barnatt gets back to his feet. Still in that clinch though and before long Munoz whips him around and gets the takedown again.
Munoz lands some of his excellent bombing ground and pound as Barnatt tries to scramble. Munoz keeping him on the mat and Munoz teeing off with ground and pound.
Barnatt manages to find the space to stand, but Munoz crowds him again against the cage. Suddenly Barnatt trips Munoz. He doesn’t have top control for long though as Munoz reverses and gets back up.
Both men look a little tired and take a bit of a breather here as they go back to striking range. Big overhand from Munoz and then he strikes into the clinch again.
Munoz opts to just control from this position rather than pursue a takedown or strike until the buzzer sounds.
Jab from Barnatt and Munoz tries to land the overhand. Kick from Munoz is a bit awkward. Barnatt with straight strikes and then lands a knee as Munoz tries to close the distance. Another knee from Barnatt, but this time Munoz walks through it in order to get the clinch agains the cage.
Munoz tries to hoist up Barnatt, but doesn’t get him down for now and Barnatt lands a few short elbows. Barnatt almost trips Munoz. Barnatt gets away to the center of the Octagon.
Barnatt looking to get his striking going with knees being a big part of his offensive output. Munoz goes in on a single though and gets it.
Munoz looking to get active with ground and pound, but Barnatt manages to sweep him and stands. Munoz back to the cage clinch though.
A little hand fighting and Munoz hammer-fists to his opponents legs before they break apart. Munoz lands a punch. Suddenly Barnatt presses forward with punches and a solid knee that backs Munoz up a bit.
Munoz thinking about a takedown again, but they stay upright. Barnatt tries a spinning kick, but it doesn’t land.
Barnatt trying to push the pace now and has Munoz backed up towards the cage. His punches are a little labored though and Munoz goes in on a single leg attempt which Barnatt stuffs. Munoz lands a hard overhand right, but Barnatt shrugs it off as the round comes to an end.
Barnatt thinking about a knee attack, but bails out on it. Munoz with a couple of big right hands. He fakes a punch then goes in a single leg, but Barnatt is keeping his balance and backs away out of danger.
Barnatt needs to get some big strikes going, but he doesn’t look to have a lot of power at this stage in the fight. Munoz clocks him with a big punch and starts to press forward as Barnatt backs up.
Munoz looking for a takedown, but has to settle for the clinch for now. Approaching three minutes to go and Barnatt needs to break free and do something if he wants a win. He lands an elbow and Munoz goes down to his knees. A couple more elbows land.
Munoz backs away just a little and lands a couple of strikes to the seated Barnatt who is then able to stand.
Big strikes from Munoz again. He blasts in a huge overhand that rocks Barnatt’s head back. Munoz pressing forward and eats a knee. Goes for a takedown though and gets Barnatt down.
Barnatt able to stand with 90 seconds to go. Munoz still in on his hips thinking about another takedown, but Barnatt defends and he’s back to the clinch.
There’s a scramble and Munoz ends up on top in half guard. He backs up and stands over Barnatt before launching in with a huge punch. He transitions to side control and then Barnatt turtles up on his knees and manages to avoid further punishment as the round ends.
No doubt about the winner here and it’s great to see a genuinely good guy like Mark Munoz getting a unanimous decision victory in his final fight before retirement.