Editor’s note: This article was originally published at MMAJunkie.com.
Former UFC fighter Mark Munoz has been placed on administrative leave and won’t have his contract renewed as a wrestling coach at a Southern California high school after a report that he allowed students to settle a dispute by boxing each other.
Munoz, 44, allegedly let two students fight each other with boxing gloves, according to a report by TMZ on Tuesday. The report, which cites “sources close to Munoz,” alleges that he wasn’t aware of the argument and thought the boxing match was more in “jovial” spirits than “violent.” One of the boys’ parents was outraged by the situation and informed the Fairmont Private Schools’ administration.
When contacted by MMA Junkie, Munoz issued a statement on the situation.
“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 honor my Lord Jesus Christ,” Munhoz wrote. “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.”
MMA Junkie contacted Fairmont School, which is located in San Juan Capistrano, and was informed by an official that Munoz was placed on administrative leave through the end of the school year and would not return to his job. The school official didn’t provide further comment. Munoz, a retired UFC fighter, was hired as a wrestling coach in September 2020.
Munoz, a collegiate national champion wrestler at Oklahoma State, fought professionally from 2007 to 2015, mostly under the UFC banner in which he competed 15 times. He was considered a legitimate title contender for a couple of years during his UFC run. He shared the octagon with fighters such as Lyoto Machida, Chris Weidman, and Gegard Mousasi, and he defeated notables such as Chris Leben, Demian Maia, and C.B. Dolloway.
Munoz retired in 2015 after defeating Luke Barnatt by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 66 in the Philippines.