: Mohammed “Jordan Boy” Mahmoud has found a place he can call “home.”
The 22-year-old Malaysian striker had a sensational ONE Championship debut just a few weeks ago, and he has not forgotten a single second of it.
He envisioned getting a knockout in his first promotional appearance at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS on Friday, 7 December, and he accomplished that.
Just 105 seconds into his ONE Super Series Muay Thai bantamweight match-up, he dropped Stergos “Greek Dynamite” Mikkios with a hard elbow.
Although the European answered the initial 10-count, “Jordan Boy” dropped him for good with a straight right to seal the victory at the 2:20 mark of the opening stanza.
It was the first time the Kedah-born athlete performed in a massive venue like Kuala Lumpur’s Axiata Arena, with thousands of his countrymen cheering him on. He felt nervous, but after that 180-second KO, Mohammed knew he found a home in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
“This is where I belong. I’ve always dreamed of performing at ONE Championship over the past two years or so,” he says.
“I predicted the knockout, and nothing feels better than getting your prediction spot on. I’ve been thinking about that moment every day as everything was such an eye-opening experience.”
It was a busy week for the Malaysian leading up to event night. He is only familiar with training during the week of the bout, and then performing inside the ring or the cage.
However, as part of the ONE roster, he participated in many different activities and learned just how extensive the promotion’s weeklong operation is.
“I did not have any experience on pre-fight events or media sessions, so although this is just a start, I’ve already felt that I’ve taken a huge leap,” he explains.
“On television, you usually see what goes on in the ring or cage, but to share the same hotels with other athletes, going for the weigh-ins, and seeing how other martial artists train together in the same room is what kept me motivated.”
Mohammed, who is a huge video game fanatic, was relatively calm during the week.
In fact, the night before the show, he was watching some videos on his phone and had no trouble sleeping at all.
“It was all good,” he says. “I was just relaxing in the room and had no issues sleeping.”
Only before his battle at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS did the usually confident athlete feel some nerves.
“I was sitting in the room and it just felt bigger than what I expected it to be,” he admits.
Moments later, his music filled the 16,000-seat arena, which meant it was time for him to walk down the ramp for his big match.
“My legs weren’t moving. I wanted to walk out, but I couldn’t,” he continues.
“Then when I entered the cage, I just prayed, really. I knew the win was on my side the moment I saw my opponent in the ring.”
Mohammed’s intuition was right, and perhaps those butterflies will leave him alone when he appears in the ONE cage for his next Muay Thai bout.