Mixed martial artist and Manhunt winner Juan Wen Jie was beaten up in school when he stood up for the bullied. Try fighting him now
You would be hard pressed to find fault with Juan Wen Jie.
He is arguably one of the top Singaporean mixed martial artists. He is educated and well-mannered. He was on his school teams for basketball, swimming and rugby. Not forgetting he was the winner of 2011’s Manhunt Singapore.
If there ever was a perfect male specimen, Juan would in all likelihood be very close to it.
“All my life, I think since I was a kid, I think every boy wants to know where he stands, you know what I mean?” he told xinmsn.
Before you disapprove with what sounded like superficial rhetoric, consider how the full-time fighter, who prefers to go by his surname, became such a – by his own admission – “competitive” person.
The only son of a taxi driver and a casino employee, a skinny Juan often got into trouble with bullies and gangsters in primary and secondary school. “I was always the kay poh (nosy) guy,” he recalled, a boy who would stand up against bullies.
According to him, he was often picked on and was beaten up “quite a few times”, once by a group that sought to extort money from him.
“I felt a lot of anger.
“I could take the pain but there was something in me – if only I was stronger to fight back.”
Looking back, the 30-year-old reckons that period of his life possibly provoked him to buff up, pick up sports, and then martial arts – albeit subconsciously.
“I progressed pretty quickly, because I was obsessed. All I could think of was fight, fight, fight. Even in school, any guy walked past, I was thinking ‘can I take this guy down?’ (Laughs)”
Juan will seek to take down his Malaysian opponent Alex Lim at 18 Oct’s One FC: Total Domination event. He is one of three Singaporean debutants on the prestigious mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, all carded for mouthwatering matchups with opponents across the Causeway.
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