One of Malaysia’s top mixed martial arts (MMA) exponents, Agilan ‘The Alligator’ Thani, has given the Fight For Change 2019 the thumbs up.
Agilan is training for his ONE: CENTURY fight against Japanese veteran Yushin ‘Thunder’ Okami at the Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on Oct 13 – ONE Championship’s historic 100th live event.
But he took time off his schedule to talk about Fight For Change 2019 which will see Twentytwo13’s co-founder and editor Haresh Deol step into the cage to face professional fighter Shareh Nasrullah of Lekir Fitness and MMA Academy on Nov 23 at Cobra Club, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Joining Twentytwo13 in Fight For Change 2019 is co-organiser Malaysia Mixed Martial Arts Association (MASMMAA). The event is supported by the National Press Club of Malaysia (NPC) of which Haresh is deputy president. Twentytwo13 is powered by Professional Storytellers.
The event is to fight for the welfare of journalists in Malaysia and aimed at helping MASMMAA change the way people view MMA. Proceeds from the event will be channeled to NPC’s Journalist Welfare Fund and to help grassroots development of the sport.
“I just heard about this fight and I think it is an inspirational idea,” said Agilan, who defeated Japan’s Yoshihiro Akiyama in his last ONE Championship fight in June.
“I hope to be there to watch the fight,” added Agilan.
The Alligator, who earned another moniker – ‘Japanese Slayer’ after his victory over Akiyama – said a lot more needs to be done to educate the public about MMA.
“Fight For Change 2019 is a good start in trying to change the perception (that MMA is too dangerous for school kids). We need more people to understand the sport – from adults to kids.”
For the record, there is no striking in junior MMA where the exponents are taught grappling moves akin to the Olympic-style of wrestling. This makes it a safer option for young children.
To find out more about Fight For Change 2019 and sponsorship details, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Separately, Agilan said he has been training hard for his fight in Tokyo as he knows he cannot underestimate Okami.
The Japanese fighter has a 35-14 win-loss record while Agilan has won 10 and lost three fights.
“My training is going well and I’m working on my overall game at my gym (Monarchy MMA) to get better and better,” said Agilan.
“I’ve watched my opponent before and seen many of his fights so I know what to expect.
“He is tough and should not be underestimated, especially with the home crowd behind him.
“I’ve heard good things about Japanese fight fans and I know if I put up a good performance, I will get a good reception.”
ONE: CENTURY will feature two full-scale events consisting of 11 bouts each – one in the morning and the other in the evening – at the same venue.
Among the highlights is ONE Women’s Atomweight world champion ‘Unstoppable’ Angela Lee of Singapore defending her title against ONE Women’s Strawweight World Champion ‘The Panda’ Xiong Jing Nan of China.
Two-division ONE world champion ‘The Burmese Python’ Aung La N Sang of Myanmar will defend his ONE Light Heavyweight world title against ONE Heavyweight world champion Brandon ‘The Truth’ Vera of the Philippines.
Also, ONE Bantamweight world champion Bibiano ‘The Flash’ Fernandes of Brazil puts his world title on the line against Kevin ‘The Silencer’ Belingon of the Philippines.
Newly-crowned ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang ‘The Iron Man’ Jitmuangnon of Thailand has his first defence against Walter Goncalves of Brazil.
Ticket information is available at onefc.com.