You wouldn’t think that Gianni Subba, being just two fights into his career as a mixed martial artist, would have to worry about being recognized as he goes about his daily routine. It is one thing to go through that kind of experience when you have fought professionally for a number of years, but it’s something that could be pretty hard to come to terms with if you have only been competing for a little over 12 months.

Taking it in stride, the 20-year-old heads into his next professional bout, which is set to take place in his home country of Kuala Lumpur, with a hometown crowd on his side.

“Fighting at home is exciting, but also a little bit tougher because you have so many familiar faces in the crowd, and sometimes it can affect you either positively or negatively,” Subba explained in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “Sometimes I get guys who will come up to me [in the street] and say some kind words. It’s nice, and it keeps me motivated.”

Subba (ONE FC)

Subba (ONE FC)

A solid foundation in a training camp is a vital contributor to success inside the cage. Subba is lucky enough to train with one of the premier camps in Thailand.

“There’s always this nervous feeling before fights, but I am confident in my preparations with my team, Phuket Top Team, and I am ready for whatever comes,” Subba explained. “The boys at Monarchy MMA helped connect me with Phuket Top Team for a short camp before my pro debut. I loved the training and have been honored to be part of the team ever since.”

Some professional fighters spend their entire career working a day job as well as spending countless hours outside of work perfecting their craft. Having the right people around him has meant that Subba can focus solely on being the best fighter that he can be, and his passion for succeeding in the sport is second to none.

“I’ve always loved the sport, and I had access to training where I was. When the opportunity came up to fight professionally, I jumped on it,” he said. “Right now, I’m just training and fighting full-time. I’ve been lucky to have great sponsors who help make this possible.”

There is a lot of pressure on the young up-and-comer, who is heading into his Nov. 15 bout versus Chen Yun Ting at ONE FC 12 with an unblemished record. At such a young age and already competing on the world stage, Subba could be expected to be easily overwhelmed by the whole ONE FC experience.

Subba (top) (ONE FC)

Subba (top) (ONE FC)

“It doesn’t faze me that much really,” he admitted. “I’ve had to dance in front of crowds in a skirt, so this is easy. I used to work as a dancer in the Polynesian Cultural Centre in Hawaii.

“It’s fun though. After all the hard training and cutting weight, being able to fight and entertain people is a rush and [in this fight] I will be looking for the finish.”

When a fighter competes on the international fight circuit, it can become a luxury to be able to fight in front of friends and family. Subba has been lucky enough to build on his career in the very place that it began. He may have since relocated to a new country to continue his development, but his heart will always be with Kuala Lumpur. And after another successful outing inside the cage in his hometown, Subba may find that there are more and more people recognizing him in the street. If he continues down the path that he is heading, it is clear that his life will never be the same again.

Gianni would like to thank his camp at Phuket Top Team and his sponsors Tune Talk, KEN Fightwear and Klinch MMA.

Top Photo: Gianni Subba (L) attacks with an armbar (ONE FC)