Irfan “The Gorilla” Ahmad, 24, of Pakistan won his second professional mixed martial arts bout at “Rich Franklin’s ONE Warrior Series 10.” It is also his second consecutive bout in the ONE Championship subsidiary.
Featuring 12 MMA bouts and 2 kickboxing contests, “ONE Warrior Series 10” took place in Singapore on February 19, 2020. In the third bout of the evening, Ahmad competed in an MMA match in the strawweight division against Peter “The Saint” Danasoe, 19, of Thailand.
Ahmad is the captain of Team Shaheen, a gym in Charrar Pind, Lahore, Pakistan founded by Pakistani MMA pioneer and the Godfather of Pakistani MMA Bashir “Somchai” Ahmad, 37. Danasoe trains out of Team Quest Thailand in Pa Daet, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Irfan and Danasoe had one of the most exciting matches of the night at “ONE Warrior Series 10” and was in the running for fight of the night. The back and forth battle showcased all aspects of MMA with the punches, elbows, knees and kicks utilized as the athletes traded blows standing and slams and submission attempts on each other.
After three five-minute rounds, the referee raised the hand of Irfan, who was declared as the winner via unanimous decision. However, the turning point in the judges’ mind for granting the decision to the Pakistani contender may have been a knockdown scored at the end of the second round as well as being able to finish in a super ground position at the end of the match.
Both Irfan and Danesoe were selected by Rich Franklin on his travels around Asia looking for the region’s top talents and were featured in episodes on “ONE Warrior Series.” The Pakistani fighter’s episode was recently filmed in December 2019 and will be available later in 2020.
Franklin spent one week in Pakistan and alongside Irfan had featured episodes on Bashir as well Pakistan’s first female MMA fighter Anita “The Arm Collector” Karim, 23. At “ONE Warrior Series 10,” Karim also earned her second ONE Warrior Series win, defeating Marie Ruumet, 17, of Estonia by unanimous decision.
Irfan comes from humble beginnings, raised in a middle-class family outside of Chiniot, Punjab, Pakistan. He suffered from asthma as a child and was forbidden from playing sports.
However, as Irfan got older, his asthma slowly went away on its own and he became quickly obsessed with martial arts and heard about Bashir and decided to come to Lahore to train with him.
Younger athletes at Team Shaheen view Irfan as a mentor as he is the oldest member of the team, which is one of the fastest rising teams in Pakistani MMA. The team is not only quickly developing martial arts talent but is providing education for some of its team members as well as professional grooming for the future.
Winning at “ONE Warrior Series 10” improved the professional MMA record of 2 wins and 0 loss. He made his professional MMA debut at “ONE Warrior Series 6” in Singapore where he submitted Sandeep Gurung of Nepal.
Now, Irfan will travel to Thailand to train with Bashir at some of the top MMA training camps of the world. Meanwhile, watch all the “ONE Warrior Series 10” bouts here: