Waiter-turned-MMA fighter Richard Corminal hopes to be an inspiration to Filipino youth

Santino Honasan on Nov 23, 2017 03:41 AM
Waiter-turned-fighter Corminal hopes to inspire Pinoy youth
"Gusto ko lang maging inspirasyon sa kabataan, lalo na sa atin, iwas sa masamang bisyo, ganun."

It's an all too familiar story, especially in the Philippines. 

In search of greener pastures and a better life for one's self and family, many Filipinos have decided to take their chances far away from home.

Richard Corminal is one such Pinoy who has been able to find better opportunities overseas.

"Kasi yung buhay sa atin, medyo mahirap, kaya kailangan magtrabaho sa ibang bansa." Corminal shared with the media during the pre-fight press conference of ONE Championship: Immortal Pursuit in Singapore. 

(Life back home is hard, that's why I needed to find work in a different country.)

Corminal is one of two Filipinos fighting on the card, Friday night at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. And while he'll be flying the Tricolor come fight night, Malaysia has been home for Corminal for the last six years, where he works as a children's MMA and Muay Thai Instructor. 

It hasn't always been about the fight life for the Novaliches-native, though. Before making a living out fighting and teaching kids how to fight, Corminal waited tables back home, and even when he moved to Malaysia. 

"Nagtuturo na ako ng mga bata sa gym, pero dati waiter lang ako. Ngayon nagtuturo na ako ng mga bata ng Muay That at MMA."

(I teach kids Muay Thai and MMA, but I used to be a waiter.)

Corminal says watching Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao sparked his interest in combat sports, but when he got to watch mixed martial arts, he fell in love with the sport. 

In Malaysia, Corminal found his way to Muay Thai, and his passion for the sport just grew from there, and when the opportunity to make a living out of it came, he felt it was the right time to do so. 

" Siguro dahil nabigyan ako ng oras. Siguro ito na yung timing para sa akin, kaya sinungaban ko na." Corminal said. "Nagsimula ako sa Muay Thai, tapos paunti-unti sa boxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling."

(When the opportunity came, I felt that it was the right time for me, so I grabbed it. I began with Muay Thai, then eventually got in to boxing, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling)

Now at 35 years old, Corminal is no longer an up-and-coming young prospect. While he does hope to someday reach the heights of Pinoy MMA stars like Eduard Folayang and Eric Kelly, at the end of the day, he hopes to be an inspiration, especially to the Filipino youth. 

"Gusto ko lang maging inspirasyon sa kabataan, lalo na sa atin, iwas sa masamang bisyo, ganun."

(I just want to be an inspiration for the kids, especially back at home, and draw them away from vices.)

While a career in combat sports isn't always lucrative, Corminal says that his decision to move has paid off. 

"Medyo nakaluwag-luwag na nag kaunti, nakakasuporta na sa pamilya. Guminhawa na ng onti yung buhay natin."

(Things are better now, I can already support the family. Life has gotten a bit more comfortable.)

Friday night, Corminal welcomes French standout Arnaud Lepont back to the ONE Championship cage. A win over an established name like Lepont will surely give the Pinoy some exposure, and as long as he keeps finding success, the more he'll be able to provide, and the more he'll become a source of inspiration.

 

 

Legends collide as Ben Askren defends his ONE welterweight championship against former ONE lightweight champion Shinya Aoki at ONE: Immortal Pursuit. 

Catch the exciting MMA action LIVE on Friday, November 24th, 8:30 PM on S+A channel 23! 

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