(SUKAN) Agilan Thani Surprised By Opportunity To Face Legend Yoshihiro Akiyama

Former ONE Welterweight World Title challenger Agilan “Alligator” Thani is always game to face anyone in the world’s largest martial arts organization.

However, the Kuala Lumpur native was shocked when ONE Championship offered him a welterweight showdown with Korean-Japanese mixed martial arts icon Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama.

“It took me by surprise, and I had to ask again,” he confessed.

“It unfolded at the ONE Elite Retreat last month. The ONE Championship team there were asking me how I was doing, and I shared my recovery program with them.

“I told them I’m good and ready to compete, but they said they’ll want to see me train first before coming to a conclusion.

“So, I did just that. I trained and sparred with Brandon Vera, and a few other athletes on the retreat. After a while, they told me that I looked great, and ‘Sexyama’ will be a perfect opponent.”

Despite being matched against a 43-year-old icon with 20 bouts to his name, Thani — who trains at Monarchy MMA in Kuala Lumpur — has remained confident about his chances at ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST, which takes place on Saturday, 15 June in Shanghai, China.

After all, most of the Malaysian’s opponents have always been a more experienced contender.

“I accepted the offer right away. Plus, most of the guys I fought have always been older than me, and they’ve always given me a great challenge,” the 23-year-old shared.

“Yoshihiro will be no different. I cannot underestimate him, or think he’s past his prime. There might be a new motivation for him here [in ONE Championship].”

The world’s largest martial arts organization boasts an abundance of stars in its welterweight division.

Thani knows Akiyama – just like him – will have his eyes on Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam’s ONE Welterweight World Title.

“At first, I expected to be on the Kuala Lumpur card, but it really doesn’t bother me anymore because for now, I just want to compete,” he explained.

“I thought this is the right opportunity, and I took it. I’m going to get my documentation and visa ready in the meantime before I fly there closer to fight night.”

Video link #1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pFfrhuPSE74&t=42s

Video link #2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndlfdgj9TF4&t=25s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *