Aiman, a former MIMMA Featherweight Champion, made a successful promotional debut by defeating his compatriot Hisyam “Zephyrus” Samsudin in-front of his home crowd in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia back in September 2016.
Soon after that fateful night in Stadium Negara, the highly energetic “Jungle Cat” dropped to the bantamweight division and relocated to Indonesia to tighten up his craft at Bali MMA.
Along the way, he picked up five more extraordinary victories in The Home Of Martial Arts and solidified his place in the weight class.
Before he makes his inevitable return to the global stage, get to know the Malaysian sensation on a deeper level. Here are 13 things you should know about the “Jungle Cat.”
#1 A Love For The Arts
Martial arts was not the first form of “arts” Aiman had discovered.
As a young boy growing up in Negeri Sembilan, he spent a lot of his time drawing pictures.
“If I had to pick between toys or a pencil and sketchbook as a kid, I would have picked the second one,” he admits.
#2 Favorite Sports Idol
Aiman adores Brazilian skateboarder Leticia Bufoni, and he respects her incredible feats and accomplishments.
“I loved skating, and her whole story about how she became successful doing what she loved the most inspired me,” he explains.
“She moved to America when she was young, and growing up, I thought I could do that too – move to America, focus on martial arts, and become successful.”
#3 Biggest Goal Outside Of Martial Arts
If Aladdin’s genie could grant him three wishes, one of them would definitely be to get better at surfing and conquer the waves in Bali, Indonesia.
“When I’m not too busy training, I surf up to four times a week,” the 25-year-old says. “Aside from my career, this is something I really want to get better at.”
#4 Most Embarrassing Moment During Practice
Aiman’s most embarrassing moment was also a painful encounter.
“I had a long fingernail one time, and I accidentally caught Donnie (Bali MMA head coach Don Carlo-Clauss) with it,” the Malaysian recalls.
“Donnie was left with a small cut on his finger. He got so mad, he kicked me. It hurt so bad!”
#5 A Part-Time Chef
While he was coming up through the amateur ranks in Malaysia, Aiman secured a part-time job as a cook in a locally-owned Italian restaurant.
He used this gig primarily to support his lifestyle and cover some bills.
“I used to make pasta and pizza every day,” he explains. “This job helped me earn some cash that I used for training and daily expenses.”
#6 Favorite ONE World Champions
There is a pair of ONE World Champions who keep “Jungle Cat” motivated both inside and outside of the Circle.
“When I look at these two guys, I can see myself being like them one day,” he says. “I admire how they talk, train, and compete, and I’m working towards that direction now.”
#7 Biggest Fear
Is Aiman afraid of heights? Nope. Is he scared of the dark? Certainly not.
This athlete’s biggest worry is the possibility of delivering a terrible performance in the Circle.
“As a fighter, I fear not performing how I wanted to perform,” he confesses. “Losing is never a fear to me, but knowing that you could have done better – that’s my biggest fear.”
#8 Childhood Ambition
The Negeri Sembilan native remembers the day his primary school teacher asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up.
In fact, he recalls this memory as if it occurred yesterday.
“When my teacher went around the class asking all the kids, everyone gave a basic ambition,” he offers. “I was only seven years old, but I replied, ‘I want to be a pilot of a jet fighter!’”
#9 A Movie He Would Put On Repeat
If time was on his side, the Bali-based mixed martial artist would continuously watch Transformers.
He is a big fan of the 2007 sci-fi action film, especially Optimus Prime’s inspirational quotes.
“I remember whenever I watched Transformers in the cinema, I’d actually stand up while hearing Optimus Prime speak,” he states. “That’s how inspiring his words are.”
#10 Favorite Dish
Every single time Aiman returns to his homeland, he must go to his parents’ house and have his mother’s homemade Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Padi, which is a traditional Malaysian dish.
“Whenever I go back to Malaysia, this is one dish I must have,” he states.
“I’ve tried similar dishes outside [of Malaysia], but no one can come close to my mum’s version. It’s the best.”
#11 The Country He Wants To Visit Most
The “Jungle Cat” has traveled all throughout Asia during his ONE Championship tenure, but if he could go somewhere for an extended stay, then it would be “The Land Of The Rising Sun.”
“I just want to enjoy a holiday, anywhere,” he reveals.
“If there’s one place I would love to live besides Bali and Malaysia, it has to be Japan. Japan is one of those places I can feel at home.”
#12 Biggest Inspiration In Life
Aiman does not have to look far to find inspiration. In fact, his childhood heroes are the two people who have raised him – his parents.
“I look up to my father. He is one of the most patient people I have come across in my life. I don’t think I have met anyone more patient than him,” he explains.
“My mum, on the other hand, is a hardworking and smart person. She has helped me a lot in my life and career.”
#13 The One Thing He Hates The Most
There is only one thing the Malaysian sensation hopes to see eradicated from the face of the earth.
“We need peace in this world,” he states. “War is an unnecessary fight between strangers killing strangers for no reason at all.”