(SUKAN) Agilan Thani Celebrates What it is to be Truly Malaysian on Merdeka

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25-year-old former ONE World Title challenger Agilan “Alligator” Thani is one of the most prolific welterweights in ONE Championship.

But despite having travelled the world and faced some of the biggest names in the sport — opponents like former ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren, and Japanese legends Yoshihiro Akiyama and Yushin Okami — Agilan is proud to call Malaysia his home.

This Merdeka Day, Agilan details what he loves to do to celebrate being Malaysian.

“For me, being a true Malaysian is knowing how to say thank you in every language here — Terimah Kasih, Nandri, Xie Xie. And then eating all the good Malaysian food that represents all the cultures,” said Agilan.

“I love having friends and family who can speak different languages and yet, share the same experiences, knowledge, and adventures.”

Although he’s one of the world’s best when it comes to fighting in the ONE Circle, at home, Agilan is just like everyone else. He mostly enjoys quiet time spent with the people he loves, and good wholesome meals at home.

After some delicious Malaysian favorites, Agilan prefers to kick back on the couch and watch the Merdeka festivities.

“Celebrating Merdeka for me is usually waking up early in the day to watch the celebration at dataran Merdeka on TV, then moving on to the store to get some of my favorite Malaysian delicacies,” said Agilan.

“When it was just me and my dad, we usually went out. But now that I have my fiancée with me, she cooks the meals. We both clean up afterwards and just enjoy some movies at home.”

ONE Championship announced a partnership with food delivery service, Foodpanda, earlier this year. The two companies are working together on a variety of initiatives and activations, aimed at bringing fans closer to their favorite Malaysian athletes.

Agilan has been tapped as part of this initiative, to become a champion for proper nutrition, and to satisfy cravings through the popular food delivery app.

The “Alligator” explains how Foodpanda factors into Malaysian society, and its impact on Malaysian families.

“I have such a busy schedule, and with my fiancée working at the moment, Foodpanda always comes in handy. I think it’s a tremendous service that is very important for a busy family, especially when you don’t get to spend much time together,” said Agilan.

“It’s pretty affordable and you can save time from all the hustle and bustle and just dine-in at home with food from your favorite restaurants. It’s good time spent with your loved ones without breaking the bank.”

Like many Malaysian athletes, Agilan is staying sharp and ready, waiting for the call to return to the ONE Circle. With the Covid-19 situation in Malaysia continuing to improve, an event in Kuala Lumpur doesn’t seem too far away.

Agilan couldn’t be more proud to represent his home country on the world’s biggest martial arts stage in ONE Championship.

“I feel truly proud to be able to represent Malaysia on the highest global stage of competition in ONE Championship, to be able to travel the world and experience other cultures,” Agilan said.

“But at the end of the day, no matter where I have been or what I have done, Malaysia is the best country in the world for me. I feel truly blessed to be born in this country.”

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