Two of the top Asian MMA featherweight prospects are set to lock horns this Friday night at ONE: THRONE OF TIGERS, which takes place at the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.** **
Malaysia’s own Keanu Subba (4-2) is set to take on unbeaten Pakistani MMA prodigy Ahmed “The Wolverine” Mujtaba (6-0) in a three-round bout. Both fighters are extremely talented young up-and-coming stars, and will now cross paths early in their career.
While the stacked fight card is certainly one to look forward to, featuring a spectacular main event between hometown favorite Ev “E.T.” Ting and veteran wrestler Kamal Shalorus, there are those who think the real fight to watch out for could be the Subba-Mujtaba showdown.
#1 It’s The Hometown Hero Vs The Outsider
One of the most popular fighters in Malaysia at the moment, Keanu Subba has managed to connect with fans and build a solid following, after some tremendous performances inside the ONE Championship cage. Subba is one of the most promising young mixed martial artists tasked to elevate the sport of MMA in the country, and he has certainly not shied away from his calling.
At the same time, Ahmed Mujtaba is one of Pakistan’s top MMA prospects. Although he will be stepping into hostile territory, Mujtaba will do so with a complete arsenal, looking to upset the hometown hero and silence what should be a raucous crowd.
When two equally skilled fighters come together and try to prove to fans who reigns supreme, it usually produces an epic matchup. Subba will of course look to put forward his best effort in order to win one for the home team. In contrast, Mujtaba should be willing to do everything in his power to spoil the party.
#2 They’re Highly-Skilled Martial Artists
Aside from the inherent local vs outsider premise of this matchup, both Subba and Mujtaba are highly-skilled martial artists. MMA is a game of skill and technique after all. Take away all the emotion, the drama, and the other elements of a fight and what you’re left with is basically one guy trying to prove he is more skilled or more talented than his opponent.
The same applies to this bout. However, Subba and Mujtaba are not just two extremely talented young fighters, they are also two of the best fighters in all of Asia.
Subba spends most of his time honing his skills in Bali, Indonesia, training alongside stars like Andrew and Anthony Leone at Bali MMA. He also has his older brother Gianni, also a highly-regarded ONE Championship prospect, helping him perfect his skills and tweak his technique day in and day out.
On the flipside, Mujtaba fights out of TFF Islamabad in the capital city of his home country of Pakistan. He is one of the most talented fighters to come out of the country since ONE Championship’s own Bashir Ahmad laid the groundwork and paved the way for guys like Mujtaba to chase their dreams inside the cage.
Both Subba and Mujtaba train tirelessly to constantly enhance and perfect their technique, all with the common goal of one day becoming an MMA world champion. On paper, the two fighters are near equals and both are well-rounded, which provides an interesting clash of styles.
#3 They’re Extremely Aggressive Fighters
While Subba could very well be the more polished striker of the two, there is no doubt that Mujtaba is supremely confident in his grappling ability, having finished the majority of his opponents by submission.
Yet despite the disparity in styles, Subba and Mujtaba do share a common trait — they are both aggressive fighters who do not know how to back down. As is common with young fighters, both Subba and Mujtaba go into a bout with the mindset of ending things early. That’s certainly not a bad thing, especially for fans craving world-class MMA action.
MMA fans want to see technique, they want to see something magical, something they cannot explain in words. But sometimes, all they want to do is leap out of their seats in excitement.
Subba-Mujtaba promises to do just that with two aggressive young prospects going at it to determine who is the better fighter at this stage in their careers.
#4 They’re Certified Finishers
Subba and Mujtaba combine for a whopping 90% finishing rate, having stopped a combined nine out of ten total opponents.
The 22-year-old Subba owns four victories, which includes one win by submission and three by scintillating technical knockout. Mujtaba, on the other hand, has won five of his six professional bouts thus far by submission.
To expect their showdown to reach the final bell is both unrealistic and improbable. Given their propensity for exciting finishes, it’s a near guarantee that their bout will end in some sort of awe-inspiring knockout or submission. And if there’s one thing every mixed martial arts fan loves, it’s exciting finishes.
Subba and Mujtaba, two of the top Asian MMA prospects in 2017 will go head-to-head in a battle of attrition this Friday night. It’s a match fans will certainly not want to miss.