Frank Muñoz: ready to make his debut in Mixed Martial Arts, next Venator athlete?
Frank Muñoz is an experienced and accomplished 34-year old kickboxer from Spain, who has fought from 2008 to 2016 in some of the biggest shows in Europe and around the world. He amassed a total record of 82 fights with 61 wins (31 by KO), 20 losses and 1 draw, most notably winning the SUPERKOMBAT World Grand Prix in 2013.
The towering Spaniard (6”5’) has been living, studying and training in the Netherlands since 2008, during his kickboxing career he trained at Vos Gym and Chakuriki Gym in Amsterdam. Since 2016 he has decided to switch to Mixed Martial Arts and has been training at American Kickboxing Academy in the US and Kops Gym in Amsterdam.
MMA Today reached out to the Spanish fighter to talk about his decision to get into MMA and his relationship with UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
MMA Today: What made you decide to change sport from kickboxing to MMA?
Frank Muñoz: I’ve competed for many years in kickboxing, I fought in some of the biggest shows and against some of the best fighters, winning some and losing some. In 2016 I had lost some of my motivation to fight until I started training in MMA and discovered many new techniques and styles of fighting to learn, this has lit the fire and the desire to compete and challenge myself back in me.
MT: How did you get in contact with and started training at AKA in the US?
FM: In 2016 I was doing an internship in Chicago, I study Sports Management in Amsterdam, and at the time Daniel Cormier was preparing to fight Jon Jones at UFC 197. Since I have a similar body type and because of my striking style, I felt I could help emulate Jones in sparring. So, being a very proactive person, I contacted AKA head coach Javier Mendez through social media and, after the training staff watched some footage of my fights, they invited me over to train in California. The rest, as they say, is history, for the past 2 years I have been a training partner for DC, we have become great friends and he has helped me grow tremendously in wrestling and grappling. While I hope to have helped him in the striking department. Since then I have also started training with Gegard Mousasi at Kops Gym in Amsterdam, where I also met and sparred with Alessio Di Chirico, so I can say that I’ve been learning from some of the best in the world of MMA. I am eager to show my new skills.
MT: Which weight class will you be fighting in?
FM: Middleweight. I used to fight at light heavyweight and heavyweight in kickboxing, because I am tall, but my opponents always outweighed me. Like, when I fought Rico Verhoeven in 2010, he had more than a 20 lbs advantage over me. Since I’ve started training in MMA I learned how to do a proper weight cut, so I am confident I can come down in weight and perform at my best at 185 lbs.
MT: How did you get in contact with Venator FC?
FM: Through Superbia Management, I’ve had a great relationship with them and with Venator so far, they have been very professional. I’m still not sure if I will be fighting at the next event or in a later date, but I can’t wait to come and put on a show for the Italian fans.
MT: Your match has not been announced yet, but what type of opponent do you think you will be facing?
FM: I want to reach the highest level of the sport and challenge myself. Even though I am at the beginning of my MMA career, I feel that I have a lot of experience in combat sports competition, therefore I want to fight against a good opponent. I think he will probably be an experienced international athlete, I am sure it will be an intriguing fight.
This will definitely be a high-profile debut in MMA, as we’re talking about a fighter that has great physical tools as well as top-level striking. With the training he has been doing in grappling, it will be exciting to see such an interesting prospect perform in Italy.