Malaysian mixed martial artist Agilan ‘Alligator’ Thani plans to approach things a little differently this year.
Agilan, who rose to fame when he challenged Ben Askren for the ONE Welterweight world title in 2017, believes he has to tackle his obstacles in a more calculated manner if he wants to return to the top of the division.
“It’s all about staying smart. I want to compete more regularly, but only when I’m fully fit and ready,” the 24-year-old Sentul warrior said.
The Monarchy MMA standout smashed through his division in 2015 and 2016, scoring six successive finishes by knockout and submission.
In February 2017, he defeated Jeff Huang to earn a shot at the world championship belt.
Overtraining and a lack of guidance eventually took a toll on his body, and only last year, the ‘Alligator’ had to go for back surgery.
He admits he is feeling much better since he has been following professional advice.
“I’m still sticking to (coach) Coco’s (Conrado Furlan) advice to manage my martial arts training and gym. So far it’s been very helpful,” said Agilan who has an 11-4 win-loss record.
“We are constantly learning every day, so it’s good to always take some advice, and put it to use. If it helps, it helps.”
With a lot more events to come in 2020, the Kuala Lumpur-based warrior cannot wait for the next challenge.
But unlike before, Agilan wants to ensure he is in peak condition before his next appearance in ONE Championship.
“For this year, my goal is to compete at least twice. I do not want to accept any fights without going through a proper training camp,” said Thani, who won twice and lost once in 2019.
“Even in those two fights, my coaches want to make sure I don’t just win, but they want me to have dominant wins. I’m ready for that.”
ONE Championship travels to Singapore next for ONE: King of the Jungle on Feb 28.