Malaysian mixed martial arts star Agilan “Alligator” Thani plans on making his highly anticipated return to action a spectacular one. The 26-year-old appears re-energized and wants to make a statement in his next time inside the ONE Championship Circle.
“Alligator” says he’s gotten a lot better since making the move from Monarchy MMA to a more independent training regimen.
“I think I made a lot of improvements from training camp, from the way we train, from pretty much everything, diet, and everything. We’ve moved a lot of things around from the last camp. I left my previous gym and now I’m working with different coaches and different gyms. Things have been going good actually,” Thani said in a recent interview with ONE Championship.
“We’ve been working [on] a lot of footwork, getting in and out. Because Tetsuka has like really big bombs, right? KO power, he’s known for knocking out people very well.”
Thani has dropped two of his last four, with victories over Korean-Japanese veteran Yoshihiro Akiyama and American Dante Schiro, as well as setbacks to top fighters Yushin Okami and Tyler McGuire.
With the pressure mounting on the young Malaysian star, Thani believes he’s one explosive performance away from turning his career around.
“Definitely, I think pretty much my last three fights motivated me to finish fights because it’s been either going to split-decision or I lose the fight, so I’m not so happy with that,” Thani said.
“But you’ve got to roll with whatever comes your way, right? So that’s what’s up.”
And while Tetsuka is no doubt a dangerous finisher, the fighter known as “The Japanese Beast” is in for a surprise, says Thani.
“I think I have fought as many dangerous opponents. I think I have more experience than this guy even though I’m younger than him. I think I’ve fought better opponents. I think I’m just having a hiccup in my career, like win-lose, win-lose. I know I’m capable of beating this guy. I don’t know why, but I know I’m capable,” Thani said.
“Well, I’m looking for a finish. Simple. First-round, second-round, third-round I don’t care. I’m looking for a finish. If it doesn’t go that way, at least I will try to outscore him.”
ONE: NextGen II is headlined by ONE Super Series Muay Thai showdown. Top bantamweights Saemapetch and Rittewada do battle for striking supremacy. Also on the card is an explosive matchup between hard-hitting featherweight mixed martial artists Tang Kai and Yoon Chang Min.