When Nazri Sutari first picked up Muay Thai, he was a chubby 97kg. Today the 75kg Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) instructor is making waves in the MMA scene. Recently, he won his last fight via a knockout in the second round at the Singapore Fighting Championships 2. He fought at last year’s season of Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Arts (MIMMA) grand finals undercard match and has been selected to participate in MIMMA this year.
About his nickname
“I first picked up Muay Thai in 2008 when I was a chubby polytechnic student. One day a teammate called me “pork chop” out of the blue and the whole club burst into laughter when I spontaneously responded. The name has stuck ever since.”
About being involved in MMA
“After training in Muay Thai for some time and getting better and better at it, I decided to test my skills in a fight. My gym owner encouraged me to give MMA a shot at the same time that the Rebel Fighting Championships held a try-out to get local talents to fight at the event. I went to that try-out for fun but emerged victorious in my debut with a technical knockout; I’ve never looked back since. “
About having the rights attitude for MMA
“First and foremost, because of my mesomorph body type, I have to be extra strict and disciplined with my diet to make the weight for fights. In addition to being persistent and dedicated, a fighter needs to be coachable and have an open mind: he must be able to trust his coaches, managers and teammates that they have his best interests at heart and not believe in his own hype. Like many athletes, MMA fighters must make many sacrifices to be good at what they do. For instance, compared to other sports such as boxing, MMA fighters — especially in Asia —have to juggle their day jobs with training and fighting as they can’t rely on MMA alone to sustain their livelihoods.”
Misconceptions about MMA
“People have many misconceptions about MMA such as:
MMA is human cockfighting
MMA is a legitimate combat sport no different from boxing, Muay Thai or wrestling. Putting two guys wearing open fingered gloves with four to six ounces of padding in a cage to beat the crap out of each other often appears barbaric to the casual spectator. In truth, the gloves are conducive for grappling your opponent and for fighting in a cage rather than a ring.
MMA is dangerous
Because the sport can appear barbaric to the casual spectator, many think MMA is more dangerous than boxing. However, many studies and statistics show that MMA fighters suffer less brain trauma than boxers and American football players.”
Photo credits: PugilPix, Zamri Hassan, Ryan Peters