Fighting runs in the Mahmoud family but only because of Mohammed “Jordan Boy” Mahmoud.
The 22-year-old Muay Thai sensation has been in nearly 60 fights with a record of 50-7 since venturing into the sport four years ago.
But it initially didn’t get much love from his father Mahmoud Omar.
“I’ve always had a strong desire to take up Muay Thai but my father was against it,” said Mohammed, who will make his debut for ONE Championship at ONE: Destiny of Champions on Dec 7 at Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur.
“It was only after I turned 18 that dad allowed me to take up the sport. Even then, it was because I joined a gym which had Muay Thai.
“My dad thought I was going to the gym to pump iron,” he added with a hearty laugh.
“After about four months of training, I was asked if I wanted to compete in a fight.”
Mahmoud didn’t want to allow his second son to take part but eventually relented on one condition – if Mohammed lost, he would have to forget about Muay Thai.
It was a challenge the Kuala Lumpur lad took up and he easily won his debut fight … and has not looked back since.
Since then, he has taken part in 20 fights a year to build up an impressive resume which convinced ONE to sign him.
Mohammed will be looking for a knockout when he faces Stergos Mikkios next month.
He will have the support of his family as not only is Mahmoud fully behind him, but his success has meant his elder brother Nidal (24), sister Puteri Rania (15) and younger brother Putra Abdullah (13) have followed in his footsteps as a Muay Thai fighter.
Asked about his nickname, Mohammed explained it is because his father is originally from Jordan.
“He came to Malaysia to study but fell in love with my mother (Rohaya Isaak) and never left,” said Mohammed.
Asked how he has managed to keep up his punishing schedule of fighting nearly every fortnight, he replied: “I’m not bragging but I’ve always been a smart fighter.
“I’ve always been able to hurt my opponents while steering clear of their kicks and punches.
“That is why I’m confident of winning my debut for ONE even though I know it is going to be the toughest challenge of my career.”
Besides Mohammed, three other Malaysians – Agilan “Alligator” Thani, Gianna Subba and Jihin “Shadowcat” Radzuan – will be fighting on Dec 7.