Famous Malaysian Fighter Wants People To Accept Deaf People As Equals

Sunny Sabomido, 26 from Keningau in Eastern Malaysia on the island of Borneo, is well known for his involvement in Malaysia’s largest amateur mixed martial arts. The reason he became a fighter and is so involved is because he was inspired by Matt Hamill, the very first Deaf person to sign on and fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Sunny pounding Hassan at the ladder match
(Photo by YK Tang Photography)
Sabornido's methods in martial arts while fighting has great composure in striking force which earned him the nickname, "The Silent Killer". People have noticed Sunny's focus during fights, "Sunny is totally focused when he fights." “He definitely has a good stand up and he has displayed some remarkable kicks and punches. When observing him, you can see he likes to circle his opponent before striking back. It’s very exciting to watch him and it would be very exciting to see Sunny become the champion this year” (Yahoo).
The fighter has shown extreme commitment to his training as a mixed martial artist, and is a proven fighter in the MMA world.

Sunny likes to view his aspect as being Deaf on equal footing with everyone else. It's not about being unable to hear. It's about how this sporting event can be played out. He doesn't want anyone who are hearing to view him as "Aww", "Inspiration", "Wow, Deaf person can do this!". He wants everyone to treat him equal just like they would everyone else. He loves being Deaf, what he does with his life and being a positive role model for other people, including children in schools just like he was inspired by Matt Hamill, for instance. What a great positive attitude he has!

Referee Oliver Coaste communicates with Sunny via basic hand signs (Photo by YK Tang Photography)
Congratulation to his career success with Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Arts (MIMMA) and his bright future in the MMA world as he journeys through the competitions.

Question 1. What made you pick martial arts as a sport? Why not soccer or any other sport?

Sunny used be active in sports like track & field, basketball, etc. but he hasn't had much opportunity to represent in those sports. He had learned Taekwondo, Karate & boxing, but whatever he learned was very limited due to his Deafness. This was the case until Sunny came to know Borneo Combat Gym through a Deaf friend of his. Sunny, then decided to join BCG. Coach AC Poseidon (The founder of BCG) saw a lot of  potential in Sunny and spent a lot of time teaching him. Coach AC has also learned sign language to communicate with Sunny.

Question 2. What is the most difficult thing you have ever experienced when involved in the battle cage?

The most difficult part of a fight is when he is unable to get instructions from Coach AC. This often happens when the opponent tries to block Sunny, so Sunny can't get any guidance from Coach AC. This is the worst experience because he ends up having to fight alone.

Question 3. What is your biggest goal you hope to accomplish during your involvement with MIMMA, and why? Do you think about inspiring Deaf people?

Sunny had lost during quarter final in MIMMA. Sunny will overcome all the obstacles to prove himself and keep on fighting. Winning or losing doesn't matter, it is about discovering ourselves and achieving another level in life. Sunny is a normal person like everybody else, but Sunny works hard all day and train hard at night. He wanted to let everybody know that Deaf people can achieve anything if they want.

This interview was conducted through Sunny's coach, A.C.

Written by Jasun Hicks
Follow him @jasunhicks

Famous Malaysian Fighter Wants People To Accept Deaf People As Equals

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