A full-time Muay Thai instructor at Muayfit PJ, the Filipino lightweight lives alone in Malaysia, and sees his daughter only once a year in pursuit of his professional MMA dreams.
With four TKOs in four wins to his name, his sacrifices have not been in vain, as Corminal now finds himself making his ONE Championship debut on 11 March at ONE: WARRIOR KINGDOM.
There, Corminal will have the daunting task of facing Thai MMA pioneer Shannon Wiratchai in his hometown of Bangkok, Thailand, in front of thousands of Wiratchai’s screaming fans.
“I have watched his fights,” the Filipino says. “He is good. Tough.”
Currently training twice every day to prepare for the bout, Corminal is no stranger to adversity, having faced it his whole life.
Raised by a single mother in Manila, Philippines, he found it hard to make a living in his home country, despite having a computer science degree. He started working at a restaurant to make ends meet, but soon it proved to be unsustainable as well.
That was when Corminal made the incredibly difficult choice to leave his family behind, and relocated to Malaysia to continue working in the restaurant industry for more money.
“It got tough. I decided to come to Malaysia to work and support my family,” he said. “It was difficult. I am alone here. I had to work every day. I missed my family, but I survived.”
It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as that is where Corminal discovered Malaysian fight gym Muayfit PJ. A longtime fan of MMA, he originally only wanted to learn Muay Thai, but soon picked up an increasing number of disciplines to become a full-fledged mixed martial artist.
He made his professional MMA debut in 2012 at a Malaysian show, and it was a night that would change his life forever.
“The first time I walked to the cage, I was very nervous,” he recalls. “Once I got inside the cage, I told myself: ‘This is it, you can do it or not.’ When I heard the cage lock up, the nerves were gone. I made contact with the guy and that was it.”
Following that first TKO victory, Corminal scored three more in local promotions around Asia, started coaching at his gym, and left his mundane restaurant job behind. Simply put, he is now living his dream.
That dream continues in Bangkok when Corminal faces Wiratchai on 11 March in Bangkok. It would be the most significant bout of Corminal’s life, taking place on the most prominent stage in Asian MMA with his toughest opponent to date.
However, regardless of the result, Corminal is not worried, and exudes an aura of calm that belies his stunning knockout ability.
I am just going to do my thing,” he said. “Whether I win or lose, I just love this sport.”