By Kolby Chang
Mixed martial arts was always on Eric Sian’s mind since he began his journey as a martial artist nearly a decade ago when he walked through the hallowed doors of the Purebred Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Anigua.
“I stuck to jiu-jitsu for a while just to discipline myself with the martial art first before moving onto MMA,” the 22-year old said.
Now a brown belt in BJJ, Sian is starting to expand his knowledge of other martial arts by competing in different disciplines. He made a successful kickboxing debut in March at the tenth annual Guam International Boxing Council’s amateur boxing and kickboxing event. Sian took on Ryan Perez in that evening’s main event and defeated Perez via unanimous decision in a crowd-pleasing slugfest.
The following month, Sian threw his hat into the world of MMA at Rites of Passage 16 on April 17th in Saipan. Sian said his foray into MMA began when he spoke to Trench Tech’s Cuki Alaverz last December.
“I asked him if I could do his event and he pulled through and got me a match,” Sian said.
Upon receiving confirmation of his first MMA fight, Sian immediately started working on vale tudo with his Purebred instructors and local BJJ legends Stephen Roberto and Terrance Aflague. In addition, Sian polished up his striking game at Elite Muay Thai in Chalan Pago with Mike Sanchez.
“I had a lot of old school guys come and support me,” Sian said.
Roberto said Sian’s progression from BJJ player, to kick boxer and now MMA fighter is a natural one and his student is putting all the pieces together very well.
“He can go far as he wants. He’s got good skills on the ground. He’s got good punching power. He was supposed to face seasoned kickboxing guys and he did really well. The sky is the limit for this kid,” Roberto said of Sian.
At Rites of Passage, went on to submit Mitchel Torre in the first round of their fight via guillotine choke. Sian is interesting in competing again but he plans on taking it one step at a time.
“I see myself doing some events now and then. I’m not really looking forward to making it a career,” Sian said.
After years of forging his craft on the mats, Sian said learning multiple disciplines keeps things fresh and provides him with another outlet when there is a break between BJJ competitions. The candid Sian even had a humorous take on what the difference was between training in BJJ and MMA is.
“It feels good to get hit in the face once in a while,” Sian said with a chuckle.
Even though BJJ, kickboxing and MMA are different Sian believes discipline is the common ground between the arts and that is what he feels is the most important aspect he has learned. It helps to carry him through the day while balancing a full-time job and a full-time training schedule.
“After work I get ready for training and head to the gym and then on the weekends it’s the same thing again,” Sian said.
GPS Sports Calendar