|Mark Muñoz's "before-and-after" photos. Photo from Muñoz's website MarkMunozMMA.com
MANILA, Philippines – Filipino Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight fighter Mark Muñoz shared photos of his remarkable weight loss a week before he returns to action at UFC 162 in Las Vegas.
Muñoz, nicknamed “The Filipino Wrecking Machine,” posted “before-and-after” photos, showing how he went from 260 pounds to 205 pounds in seven months.
“(I) battled through injury, self-doubt and depression,” Muñoz revealed on his website. “I turned to food for comfort, and what I found was more heartache.”
“A never-ending cycle of ‘eating because I was sad, and sad because I was eating.’ I had to find peace and comfort in my faith in God,” he added.
Muñoz’s weight gain started following his loss to Chris Weidman in July 2012 and continued throughout the year as he was forced to stay out of action due to a foot injury.
“When I got the news that I had to sit out for a year, it put me into a tailspin,” he told Dave Meltzer of MMA Fighting. “I went through depression. I’m not the kind of person who does parties, drugs or alcohol.”
“I turned to food for comfort. I got up to 260 pounds. It was really bad,” he admitted. “I had to get myself out of that rut.”
Muñoz revealed that he has stopped eating “pizza, burgers, fries, spaghetti and garlic bread,” along with the Filipino dishes that he gorged on during his inactivity.
“I went to the Philippines. My family was there having parties. Filipino parties have lots of food, and all my favorites,” he shared.
He stressed that his weight loss was due to his dedication to a healthy diet and exercise, and not due to any “substances.”
“I’m totally natural,” Muñoz said. “I (eat) grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and right now, I’m in the best shape of my life because I put in the work.”
“I was at the lowest of the low, but I took to hard work. It took seven months, but it’s not impossible to be as big as I was and still get in my best-ever shape and change my body competition,” he added.
More than a year after his career was derailed by his knockout loss to Weidman, Muñoz is on the comeback trail. He will take on Tim Boetsch at UFC 162 and hopes that a win there will catapult him back into the title picture.
“When I got the call, I felt it was a great match-up,” Muñoz said of his bout against Boetsch. “It was an opponent who is going to get me back into the mix.”