It is no secret that to be successful, mixed martial artists need to be well-rounded strikers, wrestlers, and grapplers.
Martial artists in ONE Championship are known for their diverse skills and physical conditioning. It is no wonder, then, that some of them dabbled in other sports before making the leap to mixed martial arts.
With that in mind, we take a look at three Singaporean athletes who successfully crossed over into mixed martial arts.
Before he became one of the most fearsome finishers in The Home Of Martial Arts, Amir Khan enjoyed a successful amateur career in another sport.
Under the guidance of his father, Khan trained at an early age to be comfortable not swinging punches, but swinging golf clubs.
As an amateur golfer, Khan trained six times a week, four hours a day, which served as a good foundation for the arduous training he would undergo as a mixed martial artist.
Khan, who wanted to follow his passion and master mixed martial arts, decided to make the switch from golf to focus full-time on combat sports.
So far, his decision has paid off, as Khan is now one of the top contenders in the ONE Championship lightweight division.
Benedict Ang, teammate to Khan, is also a man of many talents.
As an active child, Ang’s rebellious ways led him to try out different sports to channel his energy. He excelled at soccer and mixed martial arts, and alternated between the two while at school.
Ang became so proficient at soccer that he got the opportunity to play for the Singapore Under-15 national soccer squad and represent his country at the highest level.
Despite such an honor, Ang let go of that opportunity to pursue his love for martial arts and competition.
Through the support from his friends, family, and even soccer teammates and coaches, he developed into a durable mixed martial artist.
With youth on his side and his national service obligations fulfilled, Ang is expected to achieve great things inside the Circle and represent Singapore on the global stage for martial arts.
An Olympian, and perhaps one of Singapore’s greatest athletes, “Mighty” May Ooi needs no introduction.
Ooi, a national swimmer, represented the country in the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain.
She trained and experienced elite competition over the course of her swimming career, and that imbued in Ooi a sense of discipline and drive that she could carry over to any sport.
Fortunately for martial arts fans, Ooi fell in love with the gentle art of capoeira while in Brazil and took to combat arts with conviction.
Not only did the “Mighty” athlete have a successful career in ONE, but she remains one of the ambassadors for bringing awareness to the positive benefits of martial arts.
Post-retirement, Ooi runs a successful capoeira studio and continues to nurture the next generation of martial artists.
ONE Championship’s next event, ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH, takes place on 6 September in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Watch the main card on Toggle at 9:30pm SGT. At 10:00pm SGT, Channel 5 will cut to the live broadcast.
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