21-year-old poly student finds confidence -- and a girlfriend, through his love for Muay Thai

Polytechnic student Wynn Neo used to be shy and timid -- until he picked up Muay Thai at the age of 15.

Stomp sat down with the 21-year-old on Sep 8 to find out more about why he chose to take up mixed martial arts (MMA) and how his life changed thereafter.

During our chat at Muse Fitness Club that Wynn represents, he told us that he was inspired to learn Muay Thai after watching the film 'Never Back Down'.

He was captivated by the film's action scenes and decided that he wanted to be like his on-screen heroes.

Thereafter, Wynn signed himself up with a gym and began honing his skills in MMA. 

This turning point in his life proved to be one that he will look back with delight.

Other than establishing a name for himself as a Muay Thai fighter through his hours at the gym, Wynn also reaped rewards outside of the ring.

His training provided a platform for him to develop his interpersonal skills, which eventually made him more confident in social settings.

"When I communicate with people I have never seen before, it is very natural for me now. Last time I was like very nervous and always thinking of what to say," revealed Wynn.

Muay Thai too, helped the young fighter to find love.

Wynn met his girlfriend at a training session. He said with a huge smile that the confidence Muay Thai instilled in him helped in the pursuit of his special someone.

"I am able to be myself around her. Through that, I can show who I really am. That was how we got close," the 21-year-old explained.

Wynn's burning passion for Muay Thai, however, comes with a hefty price. 

He is currently a year two engineering student at Temasek Polytechnic, and has to juggle his studies with a gruelling training schedule.

There are not many hours left in a day for the avid Muay Thai practitioner after taking away his school and training hours.

Wynn elaborated:

"When there is school it is really very tough. My school usually starts from eight and it ends at five. Training starts at six. I have this one hour gap, I go home, put down my school stuff, take my gym stuff and then go for training. It will end at roughly 9pm, then I have to go home and study again. Monday to Friday is like that. This is my normal routine."

His love for Muay Thai was very apparent when he was asked whether the sport takes his attention away from studies.

"I feel like if I don't do Muay Thai, it will affect my studies. Cos I feel like Muay Thai is part of me. If you take away something that is part of me, I will have no mood to do other things," said Wynn.

Wynn is currently preparing for his fight at the Asia Fighting Championship that is set to take place at the Marina Bay Sands on Sep 23.

On that day, he will be sharing the ring with Malaysia's Saifullah Bin Ismail.

Wynn admitted that his opponent has the upper-hand in terms of experience.

However, as he has done previously, Wynn is looking to beat the odds and secure a victory in front of the home crowd.

Before we ended our chat, we pestered Wynn with one final question.

Also taking at the Asia Fighting Championship is a celebrity clash between Sylvester Sim and Steven Lim.

We asked Wynn which fighter he is placing his chips on.

At first, he declined to give us a name.

He then relented after we forced him to choose a side, and said that he believes Steven will win.

"They are fighting without any weight class. Steven is so much more bigger. He just needs to land a very good punch and he'll put Sylvester to sleep," he reasoned before we concluded the interview.

Check out what else Wynn shared with us in the video below.