He is known as the fat kid who made good but Agilan “Alligator” Thani will not rest on his laurels until he becomes a world champion.
The Sentul fighter rose to prominence a year ago when he challenged the great Ben Askren for the ONE welterweight title. Although he lost, Agilan won the hearts of Malaysian fans.
He is now eyeing another title shot as Askren is now semi-retired after compiling an 18-0 undefeated streak.
Agilan, with a background in karate, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and kickboxing, returns to action on home soil on Friday when he competes at ONE: Pursuit of Power at Axiata Arena.
“My experience in the ONE Championship welterweight division has prepared me for a run at the ONE Welterweight World Championship,” said the 23-year-old mixed martial arts exponent
“I believe I am in a great position in my career to pursue the title, and I’m willing to face and defeat anyone who stands in my way.
“The division is for the taking, and I’m working very hard to reach my goal of capturing the title. It’s going to be a wild night at the Axiata Arena for sure. See you all there.”
For Friday’s fight, Agilan will take on Swede powerhouse Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam.
Like Agilan, Kadestam too challenged Asken for the world title and lost.
As such, this Friday’s fight can be considered redemption time for both.
Kadestam guaranteed a better version of himself as he crosses paths with Agilan, who aced his last two assignments since yielding to Askren in May 2017.
“Coming into this bout, I have a renewed confidence now. I am training hard. I am motivated to show the world I am worthy to compete on an international stage like ONE Championship,” said Kadestam.
“I have dreams of becoming a world champion and I am working for it.
Kadestam knows he and Agilan share the same desire of competing for gold once more, but he stressed his Malaysian counterpart would not get the title shot he intensely wants at his expense.
“I am no pushover. I am not someone’s footstool. The belt will soon be mine. The bigger the obstacle, the greater the glory. I am here to fulfil my destiny.”