UFC middleweight, Mark Munoz had a huge homecoming of sorts when he returned to Manila, where aside from having multiple press duties, he still made time to meet up with several members of his family from the Philippines. BloodyElbow.com was on deck at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall for his open workout, and it was filled with thousands of Filipino MMA fans.
"Seeing the energy and the amount of people here, I felt like I was coming out to a real fight", Munoz said as he reacted to a huge crowd of fight fans who all gathered just to watch him train.
"I will come back. I love this country so much. Thank you for the support, and I love you all", he said as he addressed the crowd in the local dialect.
The public workout was a large event which culminated a week filled with several press activities for the Filipino-American fighter. He was featured on almost every single mainstream media outlet in the country, from several TV appearances, to print and media interviews, and even wrestling clinics. Munoz had a very busy few days, and the combat sports crazy country just couldn't get enough of the UFC star.
"It's great to see such a nice response to the UFC, to Mark, from the Philippines. The last few days has been a real eye opener." said Mark Fischer, the EVP of UFC Asia, "All this is just making me want to go back and report to all the top guys, Dana, Lorenzo and everybody, that we have to have an event here in Manila!"
"It is still just a prediction right now, but I believe we will be here (in the Philippines) in 2014. We are going to have Mark Munoz on that card, and together let's all make it a reality"
Other UFC stars such as Georges St. Pierre, B.J. Penn, Chuck Liddell and Brandon Vera have hosted similar public workouts in the Philippines during the past few years, and they all drew mammoth crowds from this country crazy about combat sports.
Stay tuned for the complete photo gallery from the public workout.