Running a seven-fight win streak, Joe ‘Massacre’ Muir has well and truly announced himself as one of the sport’s most exciting prospects.
The New Zealand native was introduced to the sport by his power lifting coach who also competed in MMA. Physically gifted, Muir’s power would prove to be a fitting attribute to the fighter. Unsurprisingly, the Kiwi’s transition to the sport would be a natural one with the competitive martial arts mantra having been instilled at an early age by his Father, a Black-belt in both judo and jujitsu.
“My father was a double Black-belt and a great fighter himself. Because of him, I grew up around fighting. It was pretty natural for me.”
A move to Australia would see the fighter unite with his current gym, the Five Rings Dojo on Mermaid Beach, Queensland. It was here where Muir would forge his skills under the tutelage of respected local trainer Roy Luxton and BJJ whiz Andrew Dearsley. More recently, Muir has enlisted the help of former Arizona State University wrestling standout Danny Felix.
“Danny is my new wrestling coach and is highly respected back in the States. He’s worked with some of the best guys out there like Cain Valesquez and Ryan Bader.
So far, working with him has really helped me a lot.”
Muir’s talents were recently validated by his dominating performances at the Golden Lion four-man tournament after first round stoppages of both Kym Robinson via guillotine choke and Hale Vaa’sa via knockout. The fact that both fights occurred on the same night added further merit to the achievement. Looking forward to his upcoming fight with Gul Pohatu at the Kings of Kombat event in Melbourne on 20 August it seemed little could slow down the fighter until an unfortunate groin injury forced the bout to be cancelled.
“I was really looking forward to the fight, but unfortunately injuries are part of the game and you have to deal with them.”
A relative newcomer to the sport, Muir has managed to stay active notching up 11 fights in just over two years not having lost since 2009. A renowned finisher, ‘Massacre’ has without doubt lived up to his moniker using crisp boxing complemented by his undeniable knockout power to record first round stoppages in eight of his nine professional wins.
When asked whether he models himself on any particular fighter, Muir insists that he doesn’t intend to model his game on any specific fighter but rather focus on his own strengths and weaknesses. Despite this, the Kiwi was to quick praise current heavyweight contender Junior Dos Santos as well as perennial MMA favourite Quentin ‘Rampage’ Jackson.
“I think Dos Santos’ boxing is really impressive… As for Rampage, I watched a lot of him when I was growing up and getting into the sport and really admire how he’s always going in there looking to knock guys out.”
Despite his longing for that elusive UFC contact, Muir ensures that the state of MMA in Australia is prospering and looks forward to seeing it evolve in future years.
“MMA here is only getting bigger and better. I really feel that the sport is getting more attention and exposure.”
It seems the sky is limit for Muir who is swiftly running out of local opponents in both the heavyweight and light-heavyweight divisions with standouts Anthony Perosh and James Te Huna both contracted by the UFC. The big money of overseas promotions and ultimately a contract with the sport’s holy grail, the UFC, is on the agenda for heavy-handed Muir who is looking to make a name for himself over in the United States.
“Once I’ve pretty much wiped out my division here in Australia, I would love to fight overseas, particularly in the UFC. Perosh is a guy I’ve wanted to fight for a while now being one of the best guys from here at the moment. My goals for the rest of 2011 are to hopefully stay injury-free and fight overseas. I’m looking to get some fights in some promotions over in the States very soon, so keep a look out and thanks to my sponsors AusCage and Syn-Tec Sports Nutrition who have helped me a lot along the way.”
MMA fans in Australia and New Zealand hope the up-and-comer can stay injury free and further establish himself as one of the premier fighters in the sport. Perhaps, fans aren’t too far away from seeing another local light-heavyweight in the UFC.