Agilan Thani (8-1) is working his way back to a shot at the ONE Welterweight World Championship.
The 22-year-old Malaysian looks to pick up right where he left off in his last outing, while Chaubey will look to showcase the dynamic striking that earned him an SFL Welterweight Championship.
As the bout draws near, here are four of Thani’s best victories inside the ONE cage.
The TKO Of “The Vanilla Gorilla”
In May 2016, at ONE: ASCENT TO POWER, Thani challenged America’s Brad “The Vanilla Gorilla” Robinson in a catch weight bout at 88kg. Not only was the “Alligator” competing against a larger opponent, but he also did not have to watch his weight.
The size and strength of Robinson did not play much of a difference, as the Malaysian utilized his relentless pressure with strikes to force the action to the canvas. Thani controlled the top position for the majority of the opening round, and finished the bout with some heavy hammer fists from side control to score yet another TKO.
This contest proved that it did not matter which weight class Thani competed at – he was ready to hang with the best in ONE Championship.
Submitting The Veteran Trestle Tan
Thani has had his fair share of first-round finishes, but one that stands above the rest is his submission victory over the Philippines’ Trestle Tan at ONE: UNBREAKABLE WARRIORS in September 2016.
It was slated to be a true test for the “Alligator,” as the Filipino was ten years his senior, and had accumulated much more veteran experience.
Evidently, neither had an affect on Thani. The Malaysian lived up to his moniker by locking onto Tan like an alligator, brought him to the mat with a body lock takedown, and bounced from position to position until he secured the full mount.
He then unleashed some ground and pound, which prompted Tan to roll into his stomach. Thani remained on top, took the back, flattened him out, and submitted Tan via rear-naked choke at just 2:24 of the first round.
Breaking Down “The Machine”
There may have been some people who doubted the talent of Thani, but in February 2017 at ONE: THRONE OF TIGERS, he silenced critics with a commanding victory over Chinese Taipei’s Jeff “The Machine” Huang.
In the first round of their welterweight clash, Thani smothered his opponent, brought him to the ground, and exhausted Huang, who tried his best to escape every unfavorable position. Despite Huang connecting with hard strikes to open the second frame, the Malaysian brought him back to the ground, and it became clear “The Machine” was breaking down.
Then, it became a familiar story. “Alligator” outmaneuvered Huang, slid into full mount, and softened him up with methodical ground strikes. Soon, Huang rolled onto his back, and Thani submitted him via rear-naked choke at 2:26 of round two.
With that victory, Thani earned the right to challenge for the ONE Welterweight World Championship.
Rebounding Against “The Shark”
If ever there was a time when your mental preparations need to kick into full gear, then it is following a loss.
For Thani, the lone loss on his professional record came at the hands of ONE World Welterweight Champion Ben Askren. But in his return bout, “The Alligator” was able to keep his head above the water.
The Malaysian took on Egypt’s EFC Light Heavyweight Champion Sherif “The Shark” Mohamed at ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS, just three months following his title bid. He trained extensively with Team Quest in California, got his mind right, and made a thunderous return to form.
Thani avoided most of Mohamed’s powerful strikes, and constantly brought him to the canvas. “Alligator” put on a grappling clinic, as he systematically worked towards favorable positions, and demonstrated improved ground and pound stylings.
Despite going to the distance for the first time in his career, there was never any doubt of the outcome. Thani left the cage with a unanimous decision victory.
Kuala Lumpur | 9 March | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onevisions18