: Ann 'Athena' Osman heaped praise on the country’s finest ONE Championship talents, who have continued to showcase what a martial artist should exhibit inside and outside of the ring.
The Sabah-based athlete has been impressed with the work ethic displayed by the nation's current generation, and how the old guard has been passing their knowledge to up-and-coming prospects.
“Mixed martial arts has evolved so much in Malaysia. There’s been highs and lows, and it’s part of every sport. But what makes it special over here is the unity among the athletes,” the 33-year-old shared.
“We’ve seen Gianni Subba train alongside Muhammad Aiman, Agilan Thani with Keanu Subba, while our ONE Warrior Series [OWS] talent Edilah Johany works under the guidance of Hisyam Samsudin.
“Our athletes are always hustling to be the very best version of themselves and to those who retired from competition, they’ve given an equal amount of hard work too through coaching or cornering an athlete.”
Possessing a positive attitude has always been important to Malaysia’s first female mixed martial artist.
However, “Athena” admitted that she only discovered it after a couple of years competing.
Ann has been an inspiration to many of her compatriots, and she is certain that these positive vibes will carry on.
“I was not too bothered about how martial arts can grow when I first started, but as I grew into an athlete, I realized that there’s much more to chase than a personal achievement or goal. I felt that I was getting more attached to the sport,” she explained.
“I’m happy to see more female athletes training now. Let’s take Edilah, for instance. She joined mixed martial arts after following my journey. Jihin Radzuan is another example. She’s making a name for herself, building her brand and trying to inspire where she can.
“I never expected this, but it’s definitely making the sport into something bigger and better.”
Ann also wished that martial arts fans in Malaysia keep Friday, 12 July free as ONE returns to Kuala Lumpur.
ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY will feature four Malaysians on its 15-bout card. They are Jihin, Mohammed “Jordan Boy” Bin Mahmoud, Saiful “The Vampire” Merican, and Ev “E.T.” Ting.