MMA fighter, head coach and co-owner of Bali MMA
We came here when no one else believed in Bali as a training destination, and we started a revolution.
Tell us your story – how did you get here?
Well, my brother and I started wrestling at the age of five, and later we merged into MMA at around 17 and 18. I fought professionally for 12 years, fighting in 29 pro fights, including two World Titles. We were living in Thailand in 2011 and saw the training lifestyle that had been created there. That’s when we thought we’d give it a shot here in Bali, since there was very little MMA training or facilities on the island. I remember we were telling people about what we were going to open, and they’d say “oh, Bali is just a vacation spot, blah blah blah”. Now, we see everyone trying to get in on the action. It’s amazing to see the growth that’s taken place.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am happy to be a part of the growth of Bali MMA, and I’m also very happy to help grow the sport of MMA and BJJ in both Bali Indonesia. As one of the Owners and Head Coaches for Bali MMA, I have now retired from fighting and have put all my efforts into growing this in any way possible. The sport of MMA and BJJ in Indonesia will be in a much different place in five years from now, and that’s extremely exciting to me.
What impact have you made in Bali?
It’s not me, it’s the team we created Bali MMA with: my brother Andrew, and my two partners Donny and Steve. We came here when no one else believed in Bali as a training destination, and we started a revolution. It was a group effort and I am proud of us all. And when I say ”us”, it’s not just my partners. Every fighter we have, every trainer and employee, and every member we’ve ever had – if it wasn’t for all those people, we would be nothing. So to have that sort of trust in the community is something I am most proud of.
What does 2022 look like for you?
2022 is going to be a huge year for us, with big fights already on the horizon. In fact, we’ve already claimed another World Title for Bali MMA. So this year it’s time to groom the young guns, and time for the veterans to take what’s there. My big focus will also be on the BJJ program and growing the students to the best of their abilities. I want to see Bali be the proven ground for BJJ here in Indonesia, with huge BJJ competitions here in Bali… I’m excited!
What do you love most about Bali?
There is a lot to love about Bali, and I love living here with my wife and baby. I love the gym, and I love going to the beach, having a Kolsh and talking smack with the boys. Life’s good!
What do you love most about your sport?
I love the grind. I love seeing what people are made of, then pushing them beyond what they thought they could do. I love seeing a new person come into the gym all shy, and then falling in love with the sport and becoming an active member at the gym. MMA and martial arts have been a part of my life forever. It’s something I will always do. To make people believe in themselves, to see people progress under such a tough sport – it’s an amazing feeling to be a part of it all.
Who is your Local Legend and why?
I have two Local Legends. One is my wife, Olivia. She’s a brown belt in BJJ and an absolute savage. She works full time, is an amazing mother and beats up all the boys in BJJ. The second is my brother, Andrew. To be honest, without him, I’m not sure if Bali would have happened for us. He’s also the best grappler I have ever rolled with, and the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back and wouldn’t tell anyone about it. Legends!