Features

The Iconic Movie Star Who Inspired ‘The Terminator’ Sunoto

Mar 21, 2020

“The Terminator” Sunoto may take his nickname from an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, but it was another Hollywood hero who influenced him the most.

The Indonesian athlete did not grow up with the luxury of a silver screen in his area, but when he got the chance to watch Sylvester Stallone’s blockbuster film Rocky with a buddy at his home, it resonated with him.

“I grew up during a time when theaters were not everywhere like today, so I didn’t watch movies a lot,” the 35-year-old Jakarta native admits.

“Also, I didn’t have a DVD player, but my friend who owned one often rented some discs from rental shops. So when I was a teenager, my friends and I watched them at his house.

“I like action movies like the ones featuring Jackie Chan because it’s entertaining and he employed unique martial arts moves. Jackie Chan is entertaining, but when it comes to inspiration, Rocky is a movie that feels close to me.”



Sunoto was an avid boxing fan in his youth and idolized the elite athletes of the 80s and 90s, so a film that focused on “the sweet science” really piqued his interest.

What’s more, he could identify with the struggle of Stallone’s character, “The Italian Stallion” Rocky Balboa, a Philadelphia-bred underdog who constantly defied the odds both in the boxing ring and life itself.

“It’s about boxing, which was a widely popular sport when I grew up. [Back then], boxing fights were broadcast on many TV stations. Many of us imitated the moves and stance, as if we were professional boxers,” Sunoto offers.

“The storytelling in Rocky is also good, as it shows perseverance, grit, and everything that a fighter should have. It’s just a movie, but to me, it feels real. The hard work during training feels real and the desperation when he was beaten feels real, too.”

The Indonesian bantamweight loved the entire Rocky series as a youngster.

However, when “The Terminator” became a professional athlete and experienced similar struggles in his own sports career, he formed an even closer attachment to the film’s protagonist.

Balboa came from a working-class background with very little money, but through hard work and the right opportunities, he achieved his dream of becoming the heavyweight champion of the world.

There were setbacks along the way, but “The Italian Stallion” used his heart, determination, and skills to overcome them.

The Terminator Sunoto looks cool in his sunglasses after his victory

Sunoto is no stranger to hardship, and the Indonesian mixed martial artist takes inspiration from Balboa’s adventure as he continues his own resurgence in ONE Championship.

“He was beaten, but he rose again and became a champion, and the journey was full of struggle and sacrifices. It’s about hard work and discipline, and he really started from the bottom,” the Jakarta resident says.

“I feel the emotions. I came from absolutely nothing as I didn’t even continue my studies [after graduating from elementary school], so it shows that anything is possible through hard work.”

Read more: ONE Championship’s Best Cosplays Of All Time