Malaysia is a melting pot of different races. People of Indian descent make up around 10 percent of the population in the country’s capital of Kuala Lumpur, which means Prabu Somanaidu is guaranteed a raucous reception every time he fights.
The 25-year-old was the Malaysian Invasion MMA Season 1 bantamweight winner, a title he will be defending next Saturday night. He says he is particularly grateful for the support he gets from the fans in his hometown of Kuala Lumpur.
“I do get a lot support from my Indian community, especially from the MIBBA (Malaysian Indian Bodybuilding Association) president Dato Kumaresan Naggiah and Vice president Mr. Rajaratanam. It is important for me to represent them because I am the first Indian MIMMA Champion titleholder. I would like to be an identity and role model for my community so that the younger generations will achieve more,” he said.
Since winning MIMMA Season 1 with a unanimous decision win over Muhammad Aiman last June, he has travelled to Las Vegas to compete at the amateur world championships and, despite losing by decision in the opening round, Somanaidu says it was a valuable experience.
“It was a very good experience for me. Had a great chance to represent the Malaysian team and also a good opportunity to meet and compete with the world champions. My journey to Vegas was very useful and I learned a lot of things, such as I got to learn more in-depth skills and techniques. My loss made me push myself to learn more and train harder.”
It is worth noting that Somanaidu went the distance against a Ukrainian opponent with a 3-1 pro record in what was supposed to be an exclusively amateur competition, but he needn’t worry about finding himself on the wrong end of a mismatch when he competes in Kuala Lumpur next Saturday.
Somanaidu, whose amateur record is 4-1, is taking on Jenarten Radhakrishnan, and says he is expecting a tough fight against the MIMMA Season 2 winner.
“I did watch his videos. I think he is a good fighter and I hope that he will be a strong opponent for me.”
The intense MIMMA schedule means that Radhakrishnan has fought four times in the last five months and has now established a 5-0 amateur record, while Somanaidu’s only appearance inside the cage since winning Season 1 in June of 2013 was the decision loss in Las Vegas.
It means that the momentum is definitely with the Season 2 winner, but Somanaidu says that even though he hasn’t had many opportunities to fight he has still been training regularly.
“I have improved a lot and I am still learning as there is no end to MMA knowledge. When I am in Malaysia, I will train at Klinch gym with Watcharachai Kaewsamrit, the Subba brothers, Matt Pellino, Ev Ting, and Aiman; and in Phuket, I will train at Tiger Muay Thai with Roger Huerta, Fernando Maccachero, and Coach John.”
Somanaidu had his first professional fight in October of 2012 before Tune Talk got involved in Malaysian MMA and started to set up a comprehensive amateur infrastructure. He admits that at the time he had only been training for a few months.
“I started MMA in June 2012 because I had always been passionate about it and had wanted to train since I was very young. So many opportunities have since opened up and I am striving to make the most of them,” he said.
The highlight for Somanaidu was becoming MIMMA’s inaugural bantamweight champion and he is desperate to defend that title successfully on Saturday night.
“It means a lot to me because that was a day which made me into a remarkable person among the Malaysians. Winning the title changed my life and this is the time for me to prove that I am capable to hold and retain my MIMMA title.”
The MIMMA Season 2 Grand Finale will be streamed completely free of charge at: www.mimmalive.tunetalk.com
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