Hartono meets his match

One Championship's first women's champion Angela Lee shows MMA fan Nathan Hartono a few moves in the ring.
Nathan Hartono in a training session with One Championship atomweight world champion Angela Lee.
Nathan Hartono in a training session with One Championship atomweight world champion Angela Lee.ST PHOTO:NG SOR LUAN

Singaporean singer Nathan Hartono put up a good fight to finish second when he competed in the popular Chinese TV singing contest Sing! China earlier this year.

In an actual fight, however, he has much to learn, as he found out the painful way yesterday from mixed martial arts champion Angela Lee.

During a 20-minute session at Evolve MMA at Far East Square, Lee went over some striking techniques, kicks and chokes with the 25-year-old singer, who admitted to have always been interested in combat sports.

Hartono said: "When One Championship asked if I would like to come for a training session, I said of course, let's do it. It just seemed like a fun opportunity.

"I've always postulated that if I wasn't a singer, I'd try my hand at being a professional fighter."

The Anglo-Chinese (Barker) alumnus recalled there was a lot of roughhousing in his school days.

During his time in university, at house parties, he also took part in backyard fights, sparring with friends.

With a smile, he said: "People have different ways of relieving stress, I guess."

The 20-year-old Lee, the One Championship atomweight world champion, felt Hartono did "amazing" yesterday. When asked how he compared with Olympic swimming champion Joseph Schooling, who also trained briefly with her two weeks ago, she laughed and said: "You can't ask me that."

Hartono said: "I would not take him (Schooling) on in a fight. He is probably a much fitter man than me.

"He would be sitting on my back."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 08, 2016, with the headline 'Hartono meets his match'. Print Edition | Subscribe