Wrestling has been synonymous with Mark's life since he was 13 years old, and after becoming an NCAA Division I Wrestling Champion his senior year at Oklahoma State University, Mark began his coaching journey. He would spend several years at the D1 level before eventually moving into MMA, where he was ranked as high as 3rd in the world. He laid down his gloves in 2015 after winning his final match in the octagon @ the very first UFC event held in the Philippines. Now, his time is dedicated to coaching and The Wrestling Room, which he started in order to spread knowledge, inspiration, and championship caliber techniques to any wrestler in the world.

"One of the things we look for in a great coach is if they are a people person. Mark Munoz is definitely a people person. No matter who he comes in contact with they have a great experience. If you are thinking of who to learn wrestling from, go learn from Mark. He is one of the best!"

Ryron Gracie (Gracie Jiu Jitsu)

"There are great men and great technicians in the sport of wrestling. Mark Munoz is a rare breed of both. Mark can teach you to become the best wrestler in the world, but more importantly, he is a fantastic role model who realizes there is something greater in life than just winning."

Brandon Slay (Olympic Gold Medalist)

"It's very rare that a person can be kind and compassionate off the mat, and an intense relentless force on the mat. Coach Munoz is both. One of the nicest people in the business with a rare ability to motivate, communicate, and lead."

Chael Sonnen (UFC Veteran)


Mark was born February 9th, 1978 in Yokosuka, Japan on a US military base. His parents, Imelda Kenery and Rodolfo Muñoz, are both originally from the Philippines. When he was 2, his family moved to Vallejo, California.

Mark loved taking part in individual and team sports from a very early age. He took a liking to football, but an injury during his sophomore year of high school forced him to shift his competitive focus elsewhere. He started wrestling at the age of 13, and developed a passion for the sport that he still carries with him to this day.

Even when Mark first started, coaches saw his raw talent and potential. They had him practice with the varsity wrestlers, where he learned something new everyday from experienced coaches and the more seasoned students. Early in his career, at the age of 14, Mark won his very first wrestling championship. That was the moment that Mark knew he was going to commit to this sport, and he finished high school as a two-time California State Champion, and a National Champion.


After such a successful high school career, Mark was recruited by a number of the best college wrestling programs in the country. He eventually decided to wrestle for Oklahoma State University, where he would be mentored by legendary head coach John Smith. Mark was a starter with the Cowboys all four years he attended. Finishing with 121 wins, he is sixth on the all-time winning list at OSU.

During his four years as a starter, he won two Big 12 titles, and was presented with the conference honor of Outstanding Wrestler his senior year. The two years he won Big 12 titles, he also earned back-to-back All-American honors at 197 pounds. To cap off his collegiate wrestling career, he won the NCAA Division I title his senior year in 2001. Mark became the first Filipino-American to win a National Championship at the Division I level.

For three years, he made the NWCA All-Academic team, and the Big 12 All-Academic squad for four. Additionally, Mark was a member of the FILA Junior World Wrestling Team for three years, earning the silver medal in 1998. Mark graduated with his Bachelors of Science (Health Science) from OSU.


Starting in 2003, Mark began coaching at UC Davis, helping grow the Aggie wrestling program. Since the campus was only 30 minutes from his hometown, he moved back to California with his family. One of the people he would be coaching with was World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) Lightweight Champion Urijah Faber. They quickly bonded, and Faber was one of the people who introduced Mark to the world of mixed martial arts. In January 2007, Mark began MMA training when his schedule allowed.

6 months later, Mark entered and won his first fight on July 19th, 2007. In April of 2008, Mark decided to pursue his MMA career full time. His first fight in WEC was on June 1, 2008, in the Arco Arena in Sacramento, California. Mark defeated Chuck Grigsby (13-3) via KO at 4:15 of the first round. On December 3, 2008, Mark defeated Ricardo Barros for at WEC 37, via TKO. Muñoz and Barros were the final 205lb fighters to compete in the WEC.

When the WEC dissolved its light heavyweight and middleweight divisions, Mark was selected to transition into the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Mark eventually decided to fight in the middleweight division. While fighting in that weight class, he beat seven of his next eight opponents, including Nick Catone (August 29, 2009), Ryan Jensen (January 2, 2010), Kendall Grove (April 10, 2010), Aaron Simpson (November 20, 2010), CB Dollaway (March 3, 2011), Demian Maia (June 11, 2011), and Chris Leben (November 5, 2011). The fight against Chris Leben was the first ever five-round non-title bout scheduled in UFC history. Mark didn’t falter under the pressure, winning by TKO in the second round.

After competing in the octagon for seven years, and at one point ranking as high as 3rd in the world, Mark decided to retire from the sport. He finished his successful UFC career by beating Luke Barnatt at UFC Fight Night 66, which was hosted in his native country of the Philippines. After the fight was over, Mark took a moment to thank God, the UFC, his family, and the fans in an emotional farewell speech. As a final symbolic gesture to the sport, Mark laid his gloves at the center of the octagon, and walked out for the last time.


Mark started coaching at Oklahoma State University in 2001, and helped lead them to a national championship in 2003. Later, he began coaching at UC Davis, and helped coach their first ever NCAA National Champion in 2007. Most recently, he helped make a huge impact at the high school level, putting Trabuco Hills on the map with the school’s first ever All-American and CIF team Championship. He currently coaches one of the top youth programs in Southern California, Reign Wrestling Club, and is a wrestling and MMA coach at The Treigning Lab. 


Mark is the current anti-bullying spokesman for the Orange County Department of Education, and he speaks at schools across the country on the subject. His campaign, called “I’ve Got Your Back”, helps young students understand the impact that bullying can have, and how collectively they can help shut down this behavior. This is one of the ways that Mark shows his passion for motivating and inspiring youth.


Even when Mark was competing in the UFC, Mark still made time to help coach a number of individuals and organizations towards championships. Now, as a full time coach, he has only the highest expectations for each and every student, regardless of their age or competition level.



Oklahoma State University Wrestling Program - NCAA Championships 2001-2003

University of California, Davis Wrestling Program - NCAA Championships 2003-2008

Cal State University, Fullerton - NCAA Championships 2009-2011



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Renato "Babalu" Sobral
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Tony Ferguson
Travis Browne
Urijah Faber


2x NCAA Division I All-American

NCAA Division I National Champion

4x NCAA Division I Academic All-American

California Hall of Fame Member

3x Big XII Conference Champion

2001 Big XII Conference MVP

2x California High School State Champion

1996 High School National Champion

Jr World Silver Medalist