Encouraged by his NYC Marathon performance, rescued Chilean miner Edison Fernando announced he’ll begin training to become a UFC fighter.

The 34-year-old international hero plans to build on his impressive 40,797th place finish in the marathon, the highlight of which occurred when onlookers cheered patiently as he staggered across the finish line at the 5-hour and 40-minute mark.

“To think that fewer than 41,000 people could beat me in a race,” Fernando said, “It’s very heartening. Now I know I can do anything.”

And as of today, that means competing as a mixed martial artist, something the “Miner with Moxie” has never done. But the 5-ft., 5-in. Fernando, who has been described by fellow miners as “scrappy” and “in reasonable health,” says he’ll take on any opponent, as long as he or she has a healthy respect for the rigors of mining and surviving terrible tragedies.

“After you’ve been through something harrowing like I have – I was trapped in a mine for 69 days, in case you hadn’t heard – professional cage fighting just isn’t that big of a deal.”

For his debut match, the eyes of the world may be once again forced to look in Fernando’s direction for yet another painful ordeal.