Former ONE Welterweight World Title challenger Agilan “Alligator” Thani (9-2) returns to action on Friday, 7 December at the Axiata Arena. He takes on Kiamrian Abbasov (19-4) of Kyrgyzstan in the co-main event of ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS. He is pumped for the promotion’s final event of 2018.
“I’m looking forward to ending the year with ONE Championship with a bang. It’s been a long year for me, but this fight would close another successful year in my career. I’ve got my eyes on a finish on 7 December. I’m aiming to give my best performance, and I don’t expect him to do anything out of the box. I’m entering the cage with a clear mind and a burning desire to win,” the 23-year-old said.
Thani, once an obese teen, has a very experienced opponent in Abbasov, who has been competing professionally since 2011. The 25-year-old has developed a reputation as a finisher. In fact, nine of his victories come via knockout, and another three come via guillotine choke.
On paper, this is a classic striker versus grappler match-up. Abbasov is known for his striking expertise, while Thani, a MIMMA Welterweight Champion is viewed as the better of the two. He is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt who has five submission victories inside the cage. The only two losses for the Malaysian’s come from a pair of ONE Welterweight World Champions – Ben Askren, who he fell to in his title challenge back in May 2017, and Zebaztian Kadestam from back in July. He viewed those defeats as valuable learning experiences.
“I’m still only 23, but by losing to two world champions in Kadestam and Askren, I’ve learned a lot.” It’s not the greatest thing to say, but it happened, and it left me with no choice but to train harder. These are some lessons in life we go through as an athlete,” he added.
Now, Thani intends to bring the newfound knowledge he has learned with him into the cage at the ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS with the hopes of defeating Abbasov and adding another win and title to his belt.