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Riverbank Grad Trains For State MMA Belt Battle
Considering his background, it's no big mystery why Riverbank High graduate and mixed martial arts fighter Bryant Munoz is already in line for his first state title and the biggest fight of his professional career at the ripe age of 21.

He got an early start.

When Munoz was just five and visiting Mexico, his father, along with other parents, would equip local youngsters with boxing gloves and watch the boys slug it out.

Ten years later Munoz was getting into fights in high school and by his senior year was looking at the possibility of a career in the cage.

Munoz enrolled at Oakdale MMA midway through his senior year and joined the Last Stand Fight Team, where he has trained vigorously and amassed a 4-1professional record.

His accolades, including four submission victories, made for an easy choice as one of two fighters competing for a California International Sports Combat Federation Bantamweight title at the Rumble in Richmond on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Munoz will square off against a more polished opponent in 26-year-old Sunnyvale fighter Alvin Cacdac (6-6). Cacdac has lost each of his last two fights, but is 3-0 in the well-known Strikeforce fight league.

Cacdac also carries a win over Lodi fighter and Nick and Nathan Diaz product Randy Spence, who won by submission at Mayhem in nearby Modesto in June of this year.

The Modesto card also represented Munoz' last fight, where he managed a tap-out win (arm bar) over James Reed in the opening round.

Cacdac trains at Nor Cal Fight Factory in San Jose under the tutelage of MMA veteran Dave Velasquez and sports the moniker "The Filipino Phenom."

He represents a stiff challenge for the Riverbank fighter, but Munoz spars with plenty of talent on the Last Stand Fight Team, and has plenty of faith in his training.

"I love training here in Oakdale," Munoz said. "The instructors are great and everyone here is like family. It's home."

Munoz' Last Stand teammates Rolando Velasco, Justin Smitley and Quincy Schoemann will also fight on the Rumble in Richmond card, with Velasco's ISCF World Bantamweight title fight representing the night's main event.

Between the three other fighters, a group of instructors including Last Stand coach Tom Theofanopoulos and the support of his attending family, Munoz knows he won't be on his own, and he's certainly not intimated by a fighter from a larger city with more fights on his record.

"I just represent my school and my team," Munoz said. "It doesn't matter where I am from, it just matters who is behind me.

"I just want to go out and fight, be as well rounded as possible."

The Rumble in Richmond will feature five professional and six amateur fights. The card will begin at 6 p.m.