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Olympian and martial artist May Ooi announces retirement

Press Release
152   //    09 Jan 2019, 14:02 IST

May Ooi
May Ooi

Singaporean Olympian and martial artist “Mighty” May Ooi has decided to hang her gloves up, announcing her retirement on social media.

“It’s never easy to step away from the things you love to do. But there is a time for everything in the beautiful journey of life. My time is up for elite combat competition,” Ooi posted.

The 42-year old Ooi is coming off a stint in the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, representing Singapore in Jiu-Jitsu.

Prior to that, Ooi competed in mixed martial arts, racking up a 4-2 professional record with a pair of wins coming in ONE Championship.

“I’ve had an unbelievable run in my competitive martial arts career. Topping off my competitive combat journey representing Singapore in the 2018 Asian Games in Jiu-Jitsu was a dream come true. I can’t even begin to thank the great people behind the scenes for making this journey memorable, exciting and simply mind blowing,” she added.

A lifelong athlete, Ooi has been competing since she was nine years old.

In 1992, Ooi had her first stint as an Olympian, representing Singapore in swimming in the Barcelona Olympics.

In her late 30s, Ooi discovered martial arts thanks to her late fiancée and coach Silvio Romero da Silva, a Brazilian martial artist and instructor.

Ooi would eventually become a pro in mixed martial arts, making her debut in 2014 and splitting her first four bouts before joining ONE Championship in 2017.


Under the Singapore-based promotion, Ooi was impressive, picking up a pair of first round submission wins, one of them against Malaysian women’s mixed martial arts pioneer Ann Osman.

Now, Ooi, who is also a medical doctor, motivational speaker, and martial arts instructor, plans to help develop sports in her home country of Singapore through her various platforms.

“I will turn my focus to serving and enabling the national sports communities of this island city, building a sporting culture for Singapore, supporting our national female athletes through the Women’s Sport Commission that is in the pipeline, developing my Capoeira students and community and growing my motivational speaking career. I will need your continued support as I play a different role in Singapore’s sporting arena,” she expressed.