Gianni Subba – fighter, commentator, coach, entrepreneur

Gianni Subba’s dreams of becoming a world champion came crashing down after an injury stopped his career in 2018.

Instead of feeling sorry for himself, the fighter, born in Hawaii, the United States, to a Nepali father and Malaysian mother, regrouped and received an opportunity to be a colour commentator for ONE Championship.

He also dabbled in coaching, but his voice and looks have made him a hit with the microphone.

“Ever since I was 13, all I wanted to be was a world champion. When I had to give up the sport in 2018, it hit me hard,” said Subba, who turned 31 on Dec 4.

“I had a good record with ONE Championship (nine wins and three losses) and found it difficult when I could no longer be in the ring.

“However, I knew I had to do something else. That was when I decided to go into coaching and commentating.”

Subba, based in Bali, Indonesia, got so good with the microphone, that last year, he flew to Bangkok, Thailand, every Friday to commentate on fights.

But this year, Subba said he would cut down on his broadcasting jobs as he has a new venture – a new combat and conditioning centre called ‘The Block’.

“I am excited to announce that I have a new gym in Bali. It is 15,000 square feet, and I hope it will be the premier stop for all mixed martial artists,” said Subba, who will welcome his firstborn in June.

“It will officially open at the end of February, but despite that, we have received a fantastic response from the mixed martial arts world, as many renowned fighters and trainers have already visited us.”

Asked why he named the venue ‘The Block’, Subba replied that he wanted something related to a neighbourhood.

“The block is a place of gathering for people. Like when I used to live in a condominium, people from Block A would go meet others in a different block,” he explained.

“I wanted a name that was welcoming, a place where people can come and hang out, get fit, and put their feet up and have a relaxing time.

“Also, I did not want it to have a traditional gym name.”

He added that one of his partners is Ian Larios, a well-respected nutritionist who has worked with several world champions.

“We wanted a cosy feel, so we have a pool, a sauna, and an ice bath facing the rice fields in Bali,” said Subba.

“Everything is well-designed, modern, and trendy. It is a place for the community to hang out, and we also provide nutritious food.”

While admitting he misses being in the hexagon, Subba acknowledged that being involved indirectly with the sport has helped.

“I want to continue fighting, but since I cannot, I want to give something back to the community,” he added.

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