KEANU Subba might have not experienced the comeback he was looking for in May, but the Malaysian featherweight martial artist learned that it was the perfect timing to build his character.

A cruel shin injury left Subba with a fractured tibia and fibula in Jakarta at ONE: FOR HONOR on 3 May. And despite the tough ordeal he has had to endure, the former MIMMA Champion knew that it was no time to back out from one of his biggest career setbacks.

“I saw this as a chance of the universe giving me a way out. If I wanted to quit, that would have been a perfect time. I’ve got a broken leg, and that would be the perfect excuse,” the 25-year-old Subba uttered in a soft tone.

“But that gave me motivation to prove that I’m a much tougher person outside the cage. It gave me a hunger to get back to what I love doing the most.

“I love this sport, and I’ve invested eight years in mixed martial arts. I told myself that I love every part of it, and that got me working hard at rehab in the hope of a fast recovery.”

Days became months, and the Malaysian grappling sensation still could not return to any form of martial arts. But that did not deter him from forming a packed recovery schedule that consisted of rehabilitation exercises, strength and conditioning workouts, and swimming.

That spirit did not come easily as Subba had to fend off memories of what unfolded in that very night in the Indonesian capital city.

But Subba’s close circle, which includes his father, mother, fiancé, and brother Gianni Subba, ensured that their boy was not going to let this situation get the better of him.

“All I ever hoped for was to wake up one day, and feel like this was a bad dream,” he said.

“It was a downtime for me, but I had my family around who was always there for me. They advised me to never quit and made everything else so much better. They took care of me well, and I’m very grateful to have them around me at all times.”

With an appetite to be the very best, the Bali MMA/Monarchy MMA representative is aware that he will be “waking up” from this nightmare in no time at all.

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