24 Feb Sonny Singh talks upcoming fight at Triumphant 3
Sonny Singh will be fighting UFC veteran Anthony Njokuani for the Triumphant middleweight title on February 25, 2017, at Triumphant 3.
It will be the biggest fight of Sonny’s career thus far. He posses a never die attitude, but on paper he will be an underdog. Njokuani has a significant amount of experience over him. This, however, is something that Sonny is not worried about.
We were able to catch up with Sonny and talk about the upcoming fight against Njokuani.
Triumphant: You have a big fight against Anthony Njokuani at Triumphant 3. How familiar are you with him?
Sonny: To be honest I don’t really know much about him. I didn’t get into Muay Thai until I was about 25, and wasn’t really interested in combat sports before that. That being said, I know that he is a veteran in the fight game and has made a name for himself. He put on a great fight on Triumphant 1, and I could tell right from the opening bell that he is high level and super talented.
Triumphant: You weren’t originally set to fight Anthony, but his opponent pulled out and you stepped up. What was your initial thought when they offered you the fight?
Sonny: When I first found out from my coach, I was stoked. Just knowing I was being considered to fight someone like Njokuani was cool. My coach has always trained and managed me from day 1, so he would only bring it up to me if he thought I was up for the challenge.
There were some adjustments we made to my training to account for a 5 round fight and a fight at a lower weight.
Triumphant: On paper Anthony has more experience than you and has fought at a very high level including a stint in the UFC. Do you think that experience might give him an advantage and how do you counter that?
Sonny: Of course. He has been fighting long before I ever had my first amateur fight. Experience is something you cannot teach or train for. An offset to that is my ignorance. They say ignorance is bliss, so not knowing much about him is an advantage for me because in my eyes he is just another guy I’m fighting.
Triumphant: Your last fight out you survived an early knockdown to come back and win after cutting your opponent with an elbow. What goes through your mind when getting knocked down and does it change your approach in the fight?
Sonny: Ha!! Yeah, that was probably a fun fight for the fans. It was the first time getting knocked down since 2014 and only my 3rd time getting knocked down in my entire career (ammy and pro). I run all types of situations in my head before the fight and usually have a plan no matter what happens. First priority when it happens is recovery, and the second priority is either getting back to game plan or make adjustments as necessary. It’s up to my opponent to figure out which I’ll do. In my last fight, I recovered well and had a good plan for rest of the fight.
Triumphant: You definitely aren’t afraid to mix it up, throw spinning elbows and basically put on a good fight. Is that a natural instinct or something that you developed with each fight you had?
Sonny: It defiantly took some time for me to blossom, I had over 20 amateur fights to develop my skill and there is still so much room for growth. What helped me blossom is probably a mix of my natural curiosity, physical attributes and working with h my coaches/team to cultivate my style… or lack of style. I have a very inquisitive mind. In everyday life, I have always been interested in knowing how things work, why they are done a certain way, and what would happen if you did it this other way instead. Training and fighting are no different. Since I started Muay Thai late and didn’t even know what Muay Thai was when I started, my style was very unorthodox. I’ve had a great team around me I can always refer to for question or advice when thinking about new things. Some things have worked so I’ve developed those techniques, others have not
Triumphant: Not looking past this fight, but if you could fight anyone you want for your next fight who would it be and why?
Sonny: Definitely not looking past this fight, Njokuani is going to be my toughest opponent to date and that’s where all my focus is.
Regarding the question, I’m not the type to call people out or ask for a specific person. My coach/manager Rudi Ott handles all the matchmaking and negotiating with the promoters. It’s a formula that’s been working, so we are just going to keep going with that.
I don’t care who I fight, but I do want to be very active going forward. If I’m healthy and able, I would like to fight 5-6 times this year going forward. I won’t be fighting forever so I want to make the most of my time in the ring.
Triumphant: How did you get into Muay Thai and why?
Sonny: I started training under the tutelage of Coach Rudi in 2011. At that time I had no idea what Muay Thai was. I was a bit chubby, close to 235lbs at my heaviest. I had been trying cardio and weightlifting to lose weight but it wasn’t working. I saw classes and it looked fun so I joined. I was training twice a day, and a couple month later tried out for the Fight Team, had my first smoker 3 months later, and the rest is history.
Triumphant: Who are some of your biggest influences in Muay Thai?
Sonny: Some of my biggest influences are the people around me. My friends, teammates and coaches helped guide me when I first started and advised me on different things. One thing was to watch high-level Kickboxing and Muay Thai. Some of the videos I liked to watch were Petrosyan highlight videos and K1 Max Matches. One of the fights, in particular, was Chahid vs Zambidis in K1 Max. That fight was a WAR straight from the opening bell and ended up going to an extra round. If watching that fight does not excite someone, they need to get their pulse checked.
Triumphant: What are some of the things you like to do besides beat people up?
Sonny: When preparing for a fight there isn’t much time for anything else. I work and train full time so once you factor in eating and sleeping, I only have about an hour of downtime, which I usually need to wind down before bed.
I feel like I’m still a chubby boy trapped in a skinny body, When I’m not in fight camp I love to eat and experiment in the kitchen. I will try (almost) anything at least once, and just like fighting, I am not scared to step out of the box and try different thing to see what works and what doesn’t.
Triumphant: A coach is a huge part of a fighters career. How would you describe your Coach Rudi Ott?
Sonny: We’ve always had a weird relationship. In the beginning, I was the annoying student, always goofing off and getting in trouble.
When I got out of the annoying phase, I was a bit lazy and thought I knew everything already, so I still got in trouble. Then as I started to mature and take Fighting a bit more seriously, I still managed to get in trouble. Yeah, I got in trouble a lot.
In hindsight, I can see that it wasn’t just me getting in trouble, but Coach Rudi saw something more in me and was pushing me to be a better version of myself and live up to my potential. Nowadays I know what’s expected of me and know what I’m capable of so I can push myself but he is still there ready to crack the whip if I start slacking. He’s been in my corner since day 1 and takes care of everything from training, managing, matchmaking, and promoting us. This helps set up an environment where the fighter can focus 100% on training and getting ready for competition. That’s his style – the energy and effort you put into yourself and the Gym, will be matched with the energy and effort he puts into you and your growth.
Triumphant: Any words for your supporters?
Sonny: I want to thank all my coaches, teammates and fans for the continued support, and want to welcome any new spectators with an exciting show!! This is a BIG Fight for me and a HUGE event for Muay Thai in the Bay Area and I’m excited for what is to come!!
Quick shout out and special Thank You to my Sponsors:
GFY Gear (training gear), Morning Crane Healing Arts (bodywork), VidaMeals (meal prep), and my new sponsor Teep (Clothing and apparel).