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UFC fighter Masvidal provides words of wisdom and inspiration to Boys' Home residents

UFC fighter Masvidal provides words of wisdom and inspiration to Boys' Home residents
Jorge Masvidal shaking hands with Singapore Boys Home residents after his session with them. Photo: Singapore Boys' Home
Published: 8:29 PM, June 15, 2017

SINGAPORE - UFC welterweight warrior Jorge Masvidal took some time off his training schedule in Singapore on Wednesday to participate in a dialogue session with 60 youths aged 13 to 18 at the Singapore Boys’ Home, a juvenile residential home, run by the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

During the session, the UFC’s No. 4 -ranked welterweight fighter recounted his journey, beginning with childhood memories of street fights and run-ins with the law. He also candidly shared how he overcame hardships, and used the challenging environment to shape himself into the person he is today.

Masvidal drew on his experience to teach participants to differentiate right from wrong, and how to react when confronted with dangerous situations. 

“As people, we need to stand up for each other, what is right, and what we believe in," he said. "Stand up against the bullies, and don’t give in to violence. 

“There is a difference between brawling in the street and pursuing a professional career in combat sport. We should not look to violence as a solution to problems, unless you are in danger, then you use it for self-defense.” 

Masvidal also encouraged the Singapore Boys' Home residents  to have a positive outlook on life, and to stay focused if they want to pursue their dreams.  “It is important to know what you want, and stay focused on achieving it. There will always be sacrifices to make but if you want something bad enough you will find the determination and discipline to see it through,” he said. 

Masvidal also fielded questions from the residents, and later demonstrated one of his favourite moves.

Singapore Boys' Home resident John (not his real name) said he was inspired by Masvidal's talk. "I learnt that to achieve my goals, I need to have determination and make personal sacrifices,” he said.

Another resident, Mohd Sulaiman (not his real name) said: “I learnt that you need to manage your anger.  He taught us to believe in ourselves and to be humble.  We need to know what we really want in life.”

At the end of the session, Masvidal offered each participant a hug and words of encouragement before he was presented with a blue hand-made origami crane and plaque as a token of appreciation. 

When asked to share his thoughts on the session, the athlete, known to fans as Jorge ‘Gamebred’, said: “These are some of the nicest kids I’ve ever met.” 

In the lead up to UFC Fight Night Singapore on Saturday (June 17), guest fighters Jorge Masvidal, Julianna Pena, and Stephen Thompson will take part in numerous activities including MMA clinics, community engagement sessions, and will be on hand to for fan meet and greets, and to sign autographs at the UFC Experience on Fight Night.