For the first time in six months, Malaysia’s Mohammed “Jordan Boy” Bin Mahmoud will compete on home soil and look to thrill the local crowd once again.
On Friday, 12 July, the Kedah-born athlete makes his highly-anticipated return to the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur for ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY.
The last time “Jordan Boy” competed inside the venue, he created a highlight-reel moment as he knocked out Muay Thai veteran Stergos “Greek Dynamite” Mikkios in his promotional debut at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS in December.
That is an evening the stylish 23-year-old will never forget.
“It’s always a proud feeling when you’re fighting in front of your hometown fans,” he enthuses. “They’ll be screaming to support you from the time you walk down that stage until the end of the match.”
With his back against the wall, can Muay Thai warrior "Jordan Boy" pick up a crucial win on 12 July against fellow Malaysian Saiful Merican?????: Kuala Lumpur | 12 July | 7PM | ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/onemastersofdestiny19????: 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 Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Things may be different this time around, however.
Mohammed is scheduled to face his countryman Saiful “The Vampire” Merican, a seasoned Muay Thai operator who originally transitioned to mixed martial arts due to a lack of opportunities.
Both men will collide under their favorite rule set, as they are set to do battle in a ONE Super Series Muay Thai bantamweight contest.
Typically, “Jordan Boy” expects to receive the lion’s share of the support in Kuala Lumpur. But facing a fellow Malaysian could have the local crowd inside the Axiata Arena more split than usual.
“They never fail to create a hostile atmosphere for my opponent, but this time, it could be very different,” he confesses.
“Unfortunately, I’m taking on a fellow local hero in Saiful Merican. If given the chance, I’d rather not take on a Malaysian, but I have to grab every opportunity that comes.”
For some, competing at home is a huge boost to their confidence. But for Mohammed, it comes with a bit of tension.
Looking to halt a run of disappointing form, “Jordan Boy” admits he is feeling some pressure heading into the clash.
“I’m confident, but at the same time, there’s a slight struggle knowing you have to win and that you cannot disappoint,” he says.
“It’s been a while since my last win, but I’m sure my fans will give me more belief to win.”
Being paired against his compatriot only adds to the tricky nature of the contest for Mohammed, who is quite fond of Merican’s skills.
Also, there is some shared history between the two.
“The Vampire,” who owns and operates Merican Muay Thai Gym in Kuala Lumpur, witnessed Mohammed’s meteoric rise in the local circuit first-hand. In fact, “Jordan Boy” even competed at Merican Fight Nights, an amateur event held at the 30-year-old’s gym.
Now, the Kedah-born athlete’s career is coming full circle, as he is meeting the admirable national hero in The Home Of Martial Arts.
“He’s a legend, a very senior athlete, a good fighter, and he has good potential. He’s a talented athlete and a well-respected guy in the martial arts scene in Malaysia,” Mohammed says.
“It’s going to be his ONE Super Series debut, and I hope both of us put on a show for the fans. It’s going to be tough because he’s really good with his striking. He’s got good stamina, too, and we’re both eager for the win.”
Mohammed is so eager to win, he has been polishing up his striking combinations.
The talented youngster acknowledges his sharpness has been lacking in recent match-ups, and he is tightening up his game in anticipation of his most important bout in the world’s largest martial arts organization yet.
He believes that could play a key role in the three-round affair, and it could lead to the stoppage victory he deeply covets.
“It’s hard to say, but just like my previous bouts, I’d like to go for the finish,” he says.
“I never liked going into a fight and leaving the match in the judges’ hands because anything could happen. A finish is important to get my career back on track, too. I’ve been on a losing streak, and I want it to end in Kuala Lumpur.”