Nathan Hartono gets schooled in mixed martial arts

One Championship's first women's champion Angela Lee shows MMA fan Nathan Hartono a few moves in the ring.
Singaporean pop superstar Nathan Hartono takes to the mat with One Championship Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee on Dec 7, 2016 at Evolve Far East Square.
Singaporean pop superstar Nathan Hartono takes to the mat with One Championship Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee on Dec 7, 2016 at Evolve Far East Square. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Singaporean pop superstar Nathan Hartono takes to the mat with One Championship Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee on Dec 7, 2016 at Evolve Far East Square.
Singaporean pop superstar Nathan Hartono takes to the mat with One Championship Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee on Dec 7, 2016 at Evolve Far East Square. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Singaporean pop superstar Nathan Hartono takes to the mat with One Championship Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee on Dec 7, 2016 at Evolve Far East Square.
Singaporean pop superstar Nathan Hartono takes to the mat with One Championship Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee on Dec 7, 2016 at Evolve Far East Square. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Singaporean pop superstar Nathan Hartono takes to the mat with One Championship Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee on Dec 7, 2016 at Evolve Far East Square.
Singaporean pop superstar Nathan Hartono takes to the mat with One Championship Atomweight World Champion Angela Lee on Dec 7, 2016 at Evolve Far East Square. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Singaporean pop superstar Nathan Hartono practises his kicks at Evolve Far East Square on Dec 6, 2016.
Singaporean pop superstar Nathan Hartono practises his kicks at Evolve Far East Square on Dec 6, 2016.ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - 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 on Wednesday (Dec 7) from mixed martial arts champion Angela Lee.

During a 20-minute session at Evolve MMA at Far East Square, Lee ran 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 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, One Championship atomweight world champion, felt Hartono did "amazing" on Dec 7. But when asked how he compared with Olympic champion Joseph Schooling, who also trained briefly with her on Nov 24, 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."

bang@sph.com.sg