It's hard to imagine someone like Mark Munoz ever getting bullied.
After all, Munoz is a former NCAA national wrestling champion who is now one of the top middleweight fighters in the UFC and who goes by the moniker "The Filipino Wrecking Machine."
"In the eighth grade, I actually got jumped for my shoes," said Munoz, who grew up in Vallejo and now lives with his wife and three kids in Mission Viejo. "I was wearing the Jordan 3s, which are a vintage pair of Jordans."
Munoz is involved with his church and in the community. He has spoken at local high schools as part of his anti-bully campaign.
"I have a pair of (Jordan 3s) to this day," Munoz said. "When I go and do the anti-bullying speeches at high schools, I actually wear those pair of Jordans and I tell them I got jumped for these shoes."
Munoz said he felt victimized, helpless, ashamed and he felt he couldn't tell anybody about the incident. His friends sensed something was wrong, and they eventually got the whole story.
"It gave me a voice," Munoz said. "Often times, people get bullied and they feel like they can't talk to anyone. Those are the things that I like to communicate with them, the students. I say, 'Hey, don't feel like you don't have a voice. You have a voice.'
"And then so many people just watch this stuff happen. They are just bystanders instead of standing up and saying, 'Hey, that ain't cool.' Standing up for something you believe in is right. I talk to the kids about the people that are bystanders that can make a difference."
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