: In December last year, Mohamad Fakri “Ant Man” Yusoff watched one of his best friends, Mohammed “Jordan Boy” Mahmoud, make his ONE Championship debut in Kuala Lumpur.
Seeing how it went for his best friend, who sealed an impressive first-round knockout, Fakri hoped to test his skills against Muay Thai’s most elite contenders in The Home Of Martial Arts.
“When I saw Jordan Boy making his debut, I set that as my target – to compete in ONE Championship,” the 23-year-old Johor Bahru-based athlete said.
“I started watching ONE early last year after the introduction of the Muay Thai and kickboxing matches, and I’ve never seen the sport celebrated in a greater way.”
“It became my dream, and all I had in my mind was to train hard in the hopes of getting called up.”
With a new motive, the Pasir Puteh native trained and competed on another three occasions in the early half of 2019.
It was not easy as the martial artist had to balance between his career goals and his job as a Muay Thai instructor at Muay Thai 98 Fitness Gym in Johor.
However, the wait soon ended on 5 August, a day before Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series 7.
“One of the guys from ONE approached me and asked me whether I would like to compete in ONE Championship,” the Kelantanese recalled.
“I was in a state of shock for a while, and I asked him whether it was for ONE Warrior Series or ONE itself. It was an unbelievable moment for sure.”
After a couple of days finalizing details, he cemented his debut for ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH at Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on Friday, 6 September.
Fakri takes on Michael “The Beast From The East” Pham in a three-round featherweight Muay Thai battle in the organization’s first-ever full ONE Super Series card.
“It’s a moment I’ve been waiting for, and I hope nothing goes wrong in the lead up to my debut,” he stressed.
“I cannot wait to test my skills against a good opponent. Win or lose, it is going to be one of the biggest moments in my career.”