Malaysia’s Agilan “The Alligator” Thani, 22, has quickly established himself as one of the world’s best welterweight martial artists. The young martial arts standout grew up from the rough streets of Sentul.
Thani has become widely respected for his relentless pace and suffocating ground attack. This ultimately elevated him to a shot at the ONE Welterweight World Championship in May 2017.
However, it did not go his way as Thani suffered his first professional career loss at the hands of ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben “Funky” Askren of the United States. The Malaysian challenger was forced to wave the white flag by his American opponent in the first round with an arm-triangle choke to keep the welterweight title around his waist.
“When I vied for the title last year, there was a tremendous outpour of support,” Thani sentimentally recalled. “Of course, I was so sad that I wasn’t able to bring home the prestigious world title. Even though I lost, there were still a lot of people who extended their encouragement that really uplifted me.”
Thani stressed that he still has his sights on the ONE Welterweight World Championship. But he asserted that defeating the toughest athletes in the division will get him closer to the gold-plated strap that he craves.
“I want to beat the best guys,” Thani stated. “I just want to win and move forward. I just want to keep competing [against] the best so that I can win every match, and eventually get my way back to the title.”
On March 9, 2018, Thani will return to the ONE Championship cage in front of his countrymen at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He will face Amitesh Chaubey, 27, of India on the undercard of “ONE: Visions of Victory.”
Meanwhile, here is a short clip featuring Thani and his bout against Hesham Hiba in 2015: