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UFC vet Mark Muñoz issues statement, denies encouraging students to ‘settle a dispute through fighting’

UFC veteran Mark Muñoz releases a statement about his reported sanctioning from his high school coaching job.

Mark Muñoz during the UFC Fight Night Manila open workout in 2015.
Mark Muñoz during the UFC Fight Night Manila open workout in 2015.
Photo by J Gerard Seguia/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Former UFC middleweight fighter Mark Muñoz has been involved in a bit of controversy. “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” will reportedly lose his job as a high school wrestling coach at Fairmont Private Schools in Anaheim, California for supposedly allowing two students to settle their rift via a playground boxing match.

Per the reports that went around, the incident was “more jovial than violent” and no one seemed to have gotten hurt. But according to a spokesperson for the school, the 44-year-old Muñoz has been placed on administrative leave and won’t have his contract renewed once it lapses.

On Wednesday, MMA Junkie got in touch with Muñoz, who then sent this written response.

“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.

“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.”

The specific wording used could be worth noting as the original report noted how Munoz was in hot water for supposedly allowing or “letting” two quarreling students box after they asked him for permission. Munoz’s statement, on the other hand, denied that he would ever “encourage” kids to settle issues through “fighting.”

Muñoz retired from fighting in 2015 after defeating TUF alum Luke Barnatt in the Philippines. He has since shifted his focus on coaching and doing some acting work.