Malaysian welterweight phenom Agilan “Alligator” Thani had a splendid night at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS on Friday, 6 December.
The Monarchy MMA athlete dished out a winning performance in front of his home crowd at the expense of America’s Dante Schiro, ending his two-match losing streak in Kuala Lumpur.
Winning in his backyard meant everything to the young star, but it was one that did not come easily.
“To be honest, I had a really big phobia fighting here because I lost my last two matches,” Thani said.
“I was nervous, but I kept cool. The moment I saw the stadium fully packed, I could hear everyone cheering very loudly. In short, it feels good to win in Kuala Lumpur again.”
Thani last battled in the Malaysian capital in December 2018. Then, the exciting young talent fell to a rear-naked choke by now ONE Welterweight World Champion Kiamrian “Brazen” Abbasov.
A couple of months before, Thani entangled with Sweden’s striking specialist Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam. However, the Sentul native could not outpower the latter, eventually losing via TKO at 1:56 of the third and final stanza.
“Those losses were tough to accept, but it gave me knowledge and motivation,” the former ONE Welterweight World Title contender said.
“It showed me that everything is going to get tougher from here, and that motivated me to train smarter so that I can build a more well-rounded game plan in ONE Championship.”
Some warriors often struggle to cope in such conditions, but Thani did brilliantly in terms of accepting defeat, using it as motivation to kickstart 2019, which looked very bleak in the beginning.
For an athlete who started the year with back-to-back defeats and a serious injury, “Alligator” did brilliant, and he is hoping to continue that momentum into the new year.
“I think 2019 was very good. From a back surgery to winning two fights. I don’t have any easy fights anymore, I battled against former champions, current champions, and dangerous newcomers this year,” he said.
“2019 was a great experience. It feels so good that it turned out like this.
“Now I want to rest, and then I’ll look forward to more fights the next year.”
ONE Championship kickstarts its 2020 campaign with ONE: A NEW TOMORROW on Friday, 10 January in Bangkok, Thailand.