For Mark Munoz, the goal remains the same. It’s just the timeline that needs to be altered.
On Thursday morning at 10 am PT, the UFC middleweight will go from surging contender to surgery center when he undergoes a procedure to remove floating bone chips in his right elbow. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Ronald Kvitne of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic, the same medical group that recently performed UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre‘s successful ACL repair.
Munoz aims to scale the same heights that St-Pierre has reached in his career, namely as king of his division. It is a goal that seemed in his sights as recently as one week ago, when he was preparing to face Chael Sonnen at UFC at January 28′s UFC on FOX 2 for the right to face middleweight champ Anderson Silva.
Munoz told MMA Fighting that during a training session last Friday, he was engaged in a wrestling scramble when his elbow slipped out and he felt two pops. He sparred four more rounds that night, but by the end of his workout, he couldn’t even pick up his gym bag.
By the next day, he’d flown to Las Vegas, had his arm examined, and received a cortisone shot in hopes of going through with the fight, but it was not to be. The injury had rendered his arm nearly useless, and Munoz’s hopes of becoming No. 1 contender were forced to give way to the reality that he would instead need surgery.