AGILAN 'Alligator' Thani’s mixed martial arts journey gets tougher, but his determination to succeed despite the odds against him stands out most.
Thani takes on Yushin 'Thunder' Okami at ONE: CENTURY PART I on Sunday, 13 October, and as always, he is ready to put in a courageous performance to earn an 11th career win.
“Courage means a lot to me because I need the courage to move forward one too many times,” the former ONE Welterweight World Title challenger revealed.
“I had to deal with a lot of issues, even when I was a small boy. Without the right mindset, I would not have been where I am today.”
Some athletes may struggle to find the warrior spirit within them as they climb up the ranks, but Agilan is not one of them.
The Monarchy MMA athlete learned about courage from a young age – and during his teenage years it was no different. The MIMMA Welterweight Champion had to fend off bullies who bothered him for being a 139-kilogram teenager.
But martial arts offered him new hope and new direction. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu specialist soon discovered he wanted to become a professional athlete.
However, his desire to become a skilled mixed martial artist was stifled by his father.
“I went to work at Monarchy as a cleaner, and my dad did not like my choice,” the 24-year-old admitted.
“He asked me why I was working at a job which didn’t pay much,” the man from Kuala Lumpur added, “and (he) pointed out several jobs which paid more and didn’t require me to work at odd hours.”
But after a while, his dad’s view on his newfound love changed. And that allowed the Malaysian to pursue a career in ONE Championship.
He built an impressive 7-0 record before competing for ONE Welterweight World Champion. Despite losing, Thani once again fell back on his courage to get him through a tough time.
“It took a lot of courage to come back,” he said. “But then, I realized that I’ve been doing it every single time of my life.”
“I told myself that if I fail once, I need to find the spirit, courage, and mentality to keep on grinding repeatedly until I’ve achieved what I set out to in my career.” And he admits that courage will now help him quiet the “Thunder” in Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan on 13 October.
“I know what I’m capable of, and it’s not like I don’t have the skill set or the years behind me,” the welterweight talent said. “I’ve been in this sport since I was 16, and I’ve always learned that I cannot let myself down. I want to go to Japan and return with a good outcome.”
ONE: CENTURY is the biggest World Championship martial arts event in history with 28 World Champions featured across various martial arts. No organization has ever promoted two full-scale World Championship events on the same day.
Featuring multiple World Title bouts, a trio of World Grand Prix Championship Finals, and several World Champion versus World Champion matches, be sure not to miss this special moment in martial arts history.