Nobby Kuandyk – The Fighting Spirit of Kazakhstan
The fighting spirit of Kazakhstan
Growing up in a region such as Kazakhstan, where martial arts are deeply rooted in the countries history, there’s no surprise Kazakhstan born Nurbolat Kuandyk (Nobby) would grow into a multi-disciplined martial artist. Coming from a long line of Greco-Roman wrestlers, the Team Perosh featherweight moves to 4-1-0 after defeating former champion Garrett Gross at Eternal MMA 33 early in the year.
In Kazakhstan the love for combat sports is like Australia’s love for cricket, it runs through the veins and is something that children participate in from an early age.
“We love the fighting spirit and combat sports, you get into a taxi, and the driver is a retired martial artist, every second person has a black belt. Over there it’s a way of life, its part of our lives, everyone does it very competitively.”
Relocating with his mother and stepfather to Australia, he always knew combat sports were in his blood; however growing up away from the homeland and the fighting culture saw a different side of the young athlete emerge.
“I was a soft kid, being raised by my mother so I didn’t do a lot of combat sports as a child, it was all team based like basketball and soccer. It wasn’t until I was away at a boarding school that I got into combat sports.”
Like many youth starting out in martial arts, Nobby began his career in Judo, with zero interest in Jiu-jitsu. It was a coach that encouraged the now brown belt to give it go. In his first competition, he was outclassed and dominated. Despite the loss, a hunger grew inside him that was to start him on his MMA journey as Jiu-jitsu aligned perfectly with Nobbys gentle nature.
“I don’t like violence, like with boxing and MMA and you have to punch someone in the face – but with Jiu-jitsu it’s your body versus somebody else body, and controlled through technique. I love that the style of Jiu-jitsu is perfect for me, I’m doing MMA to prove my Jiu-jitsu is the best, it’s the closest thing to a fight and I want to prove to myself that my BJJ can carry me through a fight and that’s been successful so far. I’m not into to knocking someone out or hurt someone.”
Empathy isn’t something you hear many young fighters talk of. However, this seems to be a way of life for Nobby even when he suffered a life-changing spinal injury that caused him to spend time in the spinal ward.
“It was horrible, here I was acting like it was a big deal until I got to the spinal ward, my neighbours were paraplegics, and some couldn’t get out of bed and couldn’t go to the bathroom. I’m the luckiest person alive, and it was very confronting and very humbling; now every day I’m blessed. The injury showed me how lucky I am, to be able to walk, train and to enjoy everyday experiences.”
At Eternal MMA 33, Nobby was able to put his talent to the test and take out former champion Garrett Gross, another technical fighter. “I liked his fight style; he’s very technical. I wanted to prove that my technique is better than his technique.”
Nobby submitted Gross in the third round with an armbar, to share a win with his teammate and new Eternal 33 Flyweight Champion Philip Kim. So what’s next for the talented kid?
“I’m thankful; I wake early, do the best possible service I can do. I’m extremely thankful to Anthony Perosh and to be honest, I thought this was my last fight I’m not a violent person I’ve proved myself four times through fights that my BJJ can win, after this performance I’d like an international fight next, maybe in China.