Submitting Munoz makes kid's day special
October, 1, 2011
By Franklin McNeil
Ed Mulholland for ESPN.comRandy Watson will definitely be one to watch in the coming years.WASHINGTON -- The desire to compete in UFC one day burns deep inside Randy Watson.
Randy Watson spends at least one hour each day training in his family’s home-based gym located in the basement. Much of the training focuses on boxing, wrestling and jiu-jitsu techniques.
Watson's personal favorite technique is jiu-jitsu.
“We’ve got a basement that is fully furnished,” Watson’s father, Jeff, told ESPN.com. “We’ve got a punching bag and a grappling dummy, and we’ve got focus mitts.
“Every day he’s ready to go.”
Despite the long hours training, it will be many more years before Watson comes close to realizing his dream -- Watson is still only 7 years old.
But on Friday, the Manassas, Va., resident got an opportunity to experience what it might feel like to apply his skills against a professional mixed martial artist.
Watson attended the UFC Live 6 weigh-ins. And fortunately, for Watson, one of the promotion’s nicest and most accomodating fighters was conducting the day’s Q&A session.
Mark Munoz goes out of his way to encourage youngsters who aspire to become mixed martial artists. Munoz took a liking to Watson the moment he saw him. After Watson asked a question and stated that he is practicing MMA, Munoz invited him on the stage to demonstrate some of his techniques.
Watson's stance was a bit wide; his hands a too low. Munoz quickly offered a few pointers, adjusting Watson’s stance to allow for better balance. Then he gave the go-ahead to shoot. Watson shot quickly, employing a double-leg that -- with Munoz’s full cooperation -- put the UFC middleweight contender on his back.
Watson soon mounted Munoz. Seconds later, Munoz was in a guillotine. Shortly thereafter, Munoz would playfully tap. It was all in fun of course, but the smile on Watson’s face afterward lit up the District of Columbia National Guard Armory gymnasium.
“Man, you have a tight choke,” said a laughing Munoz, who plans to avoid being in such a situation Nov. 5 when he meets Chris Leben at UFC 138.
Everyone in attendance cheered and clapped their hands; many were on their feet applauding the youngster with a passion for MMA as he made his way back to his dad.
“It was really, really great to go up there on stage,” Watson told ESPN.com. “The choke was pretty tight. I hope to fight in UFC one day.”
Maybe Watson does have a future inside the Octagon. He surely won’t stop training hard each day.