Following a six-month layoff, Team Black House 135-pound fighter Pedro “Young Punisher” Munhoz returned to MMA with an impressive first-round TKO of veteran Mitch Jackson at RFA 8 in late June.
In the win, Munhoz demonstrated all aspects of his game and showed that he is becoming a complete fighter.
“I knocked (Jackson) down with a knee from the clinch and when he fell down I jumped to the guillotine choke and defeated him with like 30 seconds left in the first round,” said Munhoz.
“I worked (all aspects of my game) pretty well in the fight. I caught him with good jabs, elbows, and then when he was down from the knee (strike), I finished with the guillotine choke.”
Munhoz told MMAWeekly.com that the way he fought in June is very much a reflection of the training he’s received since relocating to the United States and started working with Team Black House.
“My background is in jiu-jitsu, and I was training Muay Thai in Brazil, but when I moved to the United States I started wrestling,” said Munhoz. “Raphael Cordero has also improved my stand-up a lot.
“After that I’ve felt I’ve gotten better after every fight and now I feel like a complete fighter. If I keep my fight standing up, it is no problem for me. I feel comfortable in any situation; standing up, on the ground, wrestling; everything.”
Originally Munhoz was to headline the AXS TV live broadcasted RFA 9 show on Aug. 16 against fellow up-and-comer Keoni Koch. Unfortunately, Koch was forced out of the bout, so Munhoz now faces longtime veteran Jeff “Big Frog” Curran in the evening’s main event title fight.
“Jeff Curran is an experienced fighter, so I think this fight is going to (come down to) mistakes,” said Munhoz. “I’m going to fight very, very focused. I’m going to try to work all the time and make him make mistakes.
“I don’t have one game (plan). If I have the chance to knock him out, I will. If I have a chance to submit him, I will. I don’t want the fight to go to points because I like to finish my fights and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”
For Munhoz, not only would a win over a top-level veteran such as Curran be a big boost for his career, but taking a title in a promotion he feels is first-class will also help him advance.
“It’s a great event, it’s a great organization, and I really like to fight for the RFA,” said Munhoz. “They’ve treated me in these fights very well. If I can win this title, I think a lot of things will change.
“I think I can go to a bigger organization or stay with the RFA for sure because I’ll have this title. It is a big thing to have this RFA title.”