KUALA LUMPUR: Al Jufferi Jamari is determined to fight through the pain barrier and do the nation proud one last time at the World Pencak Silat Championships which start in Melaka on Tuesday.
Jufferi has put on hold a shoulder operation, which would have sidelined him for at least one year, to keep his chances of winning a fourth world title alive.
The 30-year-old is aware of the risks he faces when competing at the Melaka International Trade Centre in Ayer Keroh.
“After a long discussion with Datuk Megat Zulkarnain Omardin (Pesaka president) we came to the decision to go ahead and compete,” said Jufferi who will compete in the Under-75kg class.
“I believe I was born to fight and it is always my intent to raise the profile of the sport. I feel a huge sense of responsibility towards the sport.
“This will be my last competition, I will undergo surgery after the meet is concluded.
“My shoulder has been mostly okay since the Hanoi Sea Games ended but during recent training, it slightly came out (of its socket).
“There is a chance it could completely pop out during the competition. I have discussed that (possibility) with the coaches and we have come up with a plan to deal with it if it happens.
“In terms of confidence and fighting spirit I am the same as I have always been, only my focus is slightly affected when it hurts.
“But I still have two legs and one (good) arm and I will definitely try my best.”
The Pahang-born fighter had picked up the injury during his second round bout against Indonesia’s Iqbal Chandra Pratama during the Hanoi Sea Games, but was still able to win.
Despite the fresh injury, he went on to fight against Singapore’s Abdul Raazaq Abdul Rashid in the semi-finals but lost.
Jufferi, who is not taking any painkillers, said he is fully expecting his opponents to target his injured arm.
“I have been in the sport for 15 years now and if you know your opponent is injured, that is the point you focus on to weaken them,” said Jufferi.
“It is the same for any combat sport be it silat, muay or taekwondo. It is part of a fighter’s tactics.
“It is inevitable that there will be some contact to my shoulder, it is something that I will have to try my best to deal with.”
Jufferi disclosed that he is hoping to spend more time with his son, who has been battling cancer since he was three, when he retires.
Jufferi is one of the nation’s most decorated silat exponents. Besides his three world titles, he also won four Sea Games gold in a row between 2011-17.