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Mark Munoz: People still blaming me for Burt Watson's exit

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

It has been almost three weeks since UFC 184 and Mark Munoz is still getting comments on social media from angry fans. After a vague turn of events at weigh-ins one day before the fights, there are some who continue to believe that Munoz's actions directly led to popular operations man Burt Watson quitting the UFC.

"People draw conclusions," Munoz told "Even on my social media, people were like, 'Man, you suck as a fighter now and now you're gonna bring Burt down with you. And I'm like, What? What is going on right now? This is the first time I ever heard about this."

Munoz has attempted to clear the air on Twitter, but it hasn't worked. Watson, the former UFC site coordinator, has defended him on The MMA Hour. But Munoz keeps getting heat online.

The UFC middleweight veteran has no idea what transpired between Watson and a UFC official in a conversation that led to Watson walking out that weekend and resigning from the UFC. Watson said that he received a phone call from a UFC exec and was admonished "not in a proper manner." He did not appreciate the tone and made the decision to leave.

The confrontation between Watson and the higher-up was about a situation that involved Munoz. Munoz, who fell to Roan Carneiro the next night, missed weight on his first attempt Feb. 27. He believed he was going to make 186 pounds, the middleweight maximum, but he ended up 1-¼ pounds over. Confused, Munoz was driven back to the hotel, where he sat in the sauna until it was time to head back to the weigh-in venue to hit the scale again. Fighters in California are given two extra hours to make weight if they miss the first time.

After some time in the sauna, Munoz and his team were driven back to the weigh-in site, LA Live's Event Center, where Munoz weighed in again. He did so successfully. The problem was there was no ride for Munoz back to the hotel and, sources said, that some of his food to replenish was also in the vehicle.

Watson was blamed for the miscue by a UFC official, but Munoz said he was not upset at all about what happened.

"I was fine rehydrating in the tent where I was," Munoz said. "I was cool. Usually that's what happens anyways. I wasn't waiting long when I got off the scale. I wasn't waiting long at all."

Watson attempted to explain what happened on The MMA Hour last week.

"There's a reason why a mother would leave her cubs in the cave," Watson said. "She's gotta go find some food, baby. But she comes back. If you go in there and see those cubs by themselves, she's either out getting food, hunting for the kill or she's dead. But she didn't just leave them cubs just to be leaving them."

When Watson got back to the hotel, he got a call from a UFC official he would not name. That person came at him in a way Watson did not appreciate nor approve of. Watson quit soon after, not coming to UFC 184 the next day.

Munoz didn't even know anything about it until rumors were posted on social media implicating him as the reason for Watson's departure. Munoz immediately texted Watson, who called him back and the two had a long conversation.

"The thing is, I don't know what happened," Munoz said. "I love Burt. I love the UFC. The UFC has treated me nothing but good. I don't know who's at fault."

The only thing he knows for sure is he was not. There were also rumors that Watson had a confrontation with a member of Ronda Rousey's team and that is what caused the split. Watson denied that, too.

"It's still happening," Munoz said. "On my Twitter, on my Facebook people are still blaming me."

Watson himself has also exonerated Munoz.

"I know that kid," Watson said. "I know that he takes everything to heart. I know that it's his life. He reached out to me in a text and I called him back to let him know that I have no qualms with you, baby. And that's exactly how I've said it."

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