In the past year, injury and depression forced the Malaysian hero to consider his future in the sport, but after some soul-searching, he will be back with a renewed enthusiasm next Saturday, 15 June in Shanghai, China.
For sensation Agilan "Alligator" Thani, the comeback is always greater than the setback! : Shanghai | 15 June | 5PM | ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST: Get your tickets at http://bit.ly/onequest19: Check local listings for global TV broadcast: Watch on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp : Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter
Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, 4 June 2019
The 23-year-old overcame adversity throughout his youth, but martial arts helped him to overcome the hardship and gave him something to aim for in life.
Though he was young when he began his run in ONE Championship, he was successful, and the support of his countrymen pushed him toward the chance to become Malaysia’s first mixed martial arts World Champion.
“Times were hard, but I guess I overcame those obstacles by reminding to myself that I had a goal to chase,” he says.
“It was never easy to go on a 7-0 streak, but I managed to collect one win after another. That then led to a match against Ben Askren for the ONE Welterweight World Title.”
Though he was beaten on the biggest stage of his career, the MIMMA Welterweight Champion showed he was a force to be reckoned with in the division when he made his comeback from his first loss with two wins.
However, after his spectacular finish of Amitesh Chaubey last March, an old injury started to flare up – a herniated disc that was poking a nerve – and he started to lose strength, power, and mobility on his left side.
Through martial arts, Malaysian sensation Agilan "Alligator" Thani was given a second chance at life. : Shanghai | 15 June | 5PM | ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST: Get your tickets at http://bit.ly/onequest19: Check local listings for global TV broadcast: Watch on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp : Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, 31 May 2019
Many athletes would take time to recover from something so scary, but Thani did not want to stop competing in front of his adoring fans and chasing his dream.
“I’ve had the injury even since before the Ben Askren fight, but as an athlete, all you want to do is fight and keep yourself active. I did that, and I guess that made it worse,” he explains.
“I took the offer to face Zebaztian Kadestam in July last year because it was for a spot in the main event. It’s always been my dream to be in the main event.”
Even though “Alligator” could only train three times a week, that match at ONE: PURSUIT OF POWER was an incredible spectacle, but it did not go his way.
To make matters worse, he injured his shoulder. Although he received some treatment, he was far from full strength, and his training for his next match made his issues even worse.
When he returned to the Circle in Kuala Lumpur, he was taken out by Kiamrian Abbasov within a round, and he started to feel “so much depression.”
Fortunately, salvation was around the corner just a few weeks later. Doctors found a way to cure his lingering back injury and give his career a lifeline.
The invasive procedure required a lot of time to recover, and during his time on the sidelines, between late December and March, “Alligator” questioned whether he wanted to continue his pursuit of glory in the world’s largest martial arts organization.
Agilan "Alligator" Thani has everything it takes to become Malaysia's first ONE World Champion! Can he make his claim for a World Title shot on 15 June?: Chatri Sityodtong: Shanghai | 15 June | 5PM | ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST: Get your tickets at http://bit.ly/onequest19: Check local listings for global TV broadcast: Watch on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp : Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter
Posted by ONE Championship on Thursday, 6 June 2019
Thani’s way of overcoming hardship earlier in his life was through martial arts, but now he was in no condition to do that. He could not train, and he could barely walk or go to the toilet. He admits he was in a dark place, and started to take out his frustration on the people around him.
However, as someone who never takes the easy way out, he dedicated himself to rehabilitation, and with the help of his teammates, he saw the light at the end of the tunnel.
“It was frustrating as I couldn’t do much, just probably bringing my dogs for a walk was the only exercise I had for a month. Those couple of months have been the toughest period in my life,” he confesses.
“Staying at home was boring, and quitting did cross my mind, but the people around helped me. It’s good to have these guys watching my back. Sometimes, I had multiple breakdowns.
“I’m only 23, and to have this injury just as soon as my career was taking off is quite hard to accept. You keep on winning, and something happens, then you just wonder what next?
“I struggled to control my emotions at times, but my teammates [at Monarchy MMA] were always around. Although it’s been a couple of months, it does feel pretty long.”
WELTERWEIGHT WAR Expect fireworks when Malaysian sensation Agilan "Alligator" Thani welcomes Japanese icon Yoshihiro Akiyama to the global stage on 15 June!: Shanghai | 15 June | 5PM | ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST: Get your tickets at http://bit.ly/onequest19: Check local listings for global TV broadcast: Watch on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp : Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter
Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, 3 June 2019
Before too long, the Malaysian was back on the mats, and his patience and perseverance were rewarded with a huge match-up against a martial arts icon in the co-main event of ONE: LEGENDARY QUEST.
The grappling specialist is delighted to feature in such a high-profile bout, and he is prepared to show he is back to his best and start another run toward the top of his weight class again.
Now fitter and stronger than ever thanks to a new strength and conditioning routine, Thani believes he can get a famous finish at the Baoshan Arena.
“I’ve made a lot of progress, and I’m happy that I’ve fully recovered throughout this hard time. It’s been mentally and physically demanding, but I’m ready to take on ‘Sexy Yama.'”
Shanghai | 15 June | 4:45PM | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onequest19