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Nazri Sutari has not only competed in kickboxing but MMA and sambo, a sport in which he clinched the gold medal at the 2019 SEA Games. Photo: Instagram/@nsutarimma

Singapore Sportstar Spotlight: Nazri Sutari, Kickboxing

If there is one word to describe Nazri Sutari, it's "versatility".

The 30 year-old fighter is a multi-sport champion in various martial arts forms, from Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), wrestling, pankration (an ancient Greek sports event that combined boxing and wrestling) to sambo (a Soviet martial art).

For the latter, Nazri scored a gold medal for Singapore at the 2019 SEA Games, but what made the achievement even more impressive was that he pivoted towards that discipline at the last minute yet still won the entire competition.

Nazri's biggest passion, however, is kickboxing. He is a national coach and technical director at the Kickboxing Federation of Singapore (KFS) on top of being a kickboxing champion in his own right.

“Whether it’s kickboxing, boxing, MMA or sambo, I am adaptable. I have a solid foundation in the basic martial art skills. I just need to adjust my strikes according to the rules,” he says in a previous interview.

Character Bio: What makes Nazri such an excellent athlete is his love for being active, something that was ingrained in him at a young age. He first picked up fencing in secondary school before discovering muay thai at Singapore Polytechnic, where he pursued a Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. This kickstarted his journey into martial arts.

Over the years, Nazri has trained and competed in three muay thai fights, one boxing match, one pro and 10 amateur MMA fights, as well as a wrestling and grappling competitions. What a knockout career! 

Achievement Unlocked: Nazri's biggest achievement thus far is becoming the first Singaporean in history to win a gold medal in the sport of sambo at the 2019 SEA Games.

And while he is pursuing a comeback in kickboxing this year, his talent in the sport has not gone unrecognised - he has been selected to be part of world governing body of kickboxing Wako's inaugural GameChanger programme, which aims to develop the next generation of leaders in the sport of kickboxing and foster a positive impact in the community worldwide.

"Blessed and humbled by the amount of love and support I have received from everyone," Nazri writes in a stirring Instagram post on 1 May when he heard about the news.

"Thank you for believing in me. I am only one person but I can only promise to you all that I will put all my heart into this journey and do my absolute best. Hopefully one day I can do my part in giving back to the sport that I love."

Level Up: What's next? Nazri is setting his sights on this year's edition of the SEA Games in Hanoi, this time representing kickboxing.

Will he become the first Singaporean to be a gold medallist in two different sports? Based on Nazri's warrior spirit and mental resilience, and his conquests in every sport he's set his mind to, you will not want to bet against this badass.

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