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Champ Ben Askren set to defend his Welterweight belt against underdog Zebaztian Kadestam

Undefeated ONE World Champion Ben Askren will be defending his Welterweight title against Swedish sensation, Zebaztian Kadestam.

The fight will be the main event of ONE Championship: Shanghai — which will take place at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai on the 2nd of September.

If the name Ben Askren sounds awfully familiar, it’s because he defeated Malaysia’s Agilan Thani back in May. Agilan tapped out after 2 minutes and 22 seconds, submitting to Askren’s arm-triangle choke.

That victory marked Askren’s third first-round finish in five bouts since signing with ONE.

Photo: IB Times

Zebaztian Kadestam, who has had nine career wins, which consists of a whopping seven knockouts, is looking forward to relish his underdog role against Askren and possibly stun the world with a victory.

“It’s good to be an underdog because it boosts my motivation to win. When you’re an underdog, others believe that you have a small chance to win. But in some instances, some competitors use it as an extra drive in their fights,” Kadestam said.

Kadestam won his last cage outing in May when he defeated top welterweight contender Luis “Sapo” Santos of Brazil by way of third-round knockout.

“I am going to give everything to capture the belt,” Kadestam added.

The 26-year-old boy from Stockholm is perfectly aware of the challenge that lies ahead, Askren is widely regarded as one of the best welterweights in the world today with a perfect record of 16-0.

Photo: Fight Madness

“I am no pushover. I am not someone’s footstool. On September 2nd, I will once again shock the world. Ben Askren is only a man, and he is beatable. The belt will soon be mine.” Kadestam said utmost conviction.

Other bouts leading up to the ONE Championship: Shanghai’s main event are:

1) Narantungalag Jadambaa vs Tetsuya Yamada

2) Miao Li Tao vs Liu De Li

3) Xu Chun Yan vs Eh Ya Nut

4) Chen Geng Min vs Peng Xue Wen

5) Sagetdao Petpayathai vs Mahmoud Mohamed

6) Miao Jie vs Mona Samir

7) Amir Khan vs Jaroslav Jartim

8)Zhang Ze Hao vs Li Cheng Chao

9) Marc Marcellinus vs Tran Quang Loc

MMA

Exclusive: “I almost quit MMA for good” – Agilan Thani opens up about Ben Askren defeat

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“I almost quit MMA for good”

That was Agilan Thani’s response when we asked him about that fateful night in Singapore. After months of training and preparing for the fight, Askren only took 2 minutes and 20 seconds to force Agilan into a submission and retain his ONE Welterweight Title.

While the entire nation, in the aftermath of that defeat, came together to remind him of the support structure that’s present behind his back, the man himself struggled to reconcile with the loss. And he briefly toyed with the idea of returning to his old life.

“I wanted to quit MMA for good. I thought of just going back to my old life, becoming a cleaner or something. It was difficult. Fighting is all I know, and it’s a huge part of my life. And to lose the way I did against Ben Askren? It was really painful,” he told Stadium.MY

Photo Credit: One FC

“I’m not going to lie. It bit into a large chunk of my ego. As humans, we all have the egoistic side of us. That night, I didn’t do anything. I didn’t even throw a single punch. He took me out easily and it broke me down. I broke down several times in the first few weeks after the fight.

“But little things kept me going. My girlfriend, who has always been beside me, kept me going by reminding me of everything else I’ve achieved in my career. My coaches kept me motivated. Looking at the Subba brothers training hard was also motivational. Over time, I realised that one defeat shouldn’t define my career and that I’m bigger and stronger than that,” he added.

This Friday, almost three months after picking up his first One Championship defeat, Agilan will be back in the ring to face Egyptian fighter Sherif Mohamed at One: Quest for Greatness. But the bout isn’t about to get easier as Sherif is arguably a stronger fighter, having fought in the light heavyweight and heavyweight categories, prior to this. In fact, he is the reigning EFC Light Heavyweight champion.

 

Photo Credit: One FC

But Agilan claims that he is mentally prepared to deal with Sherif on Friday night, pointing out that he has altered his approach towards fight nights, after the Ben Askren defeat.

“The biggest thing I learned from losing to Ben Askren is that there’s no point in being fixated on your opponent. All you have to do is focus on your strengths as a fighter and how to better yourself. Opponents will come in different sizes and styles and it’s pointless to tweak your style to fit them all. You can only focus on your capabilities as a fighter and how to best use it against other fighters.

“Sherif is a wrestler, which means he is strong and has good upper body strength. But I’m ready to face him. This time around, I’ve focused a lot more of my prep on myself and I know by body better. And I’m mentally ready to turn on the style and get a win for the country,” he enthused.

Photo Credit: One FC

It’s been a difficult few months for Agilan and even he knows that a setback against Sherif would put a huge dent in his morale – two consecutive defeats would do that for anyone. The burden though, isn’t as big as it used to be. This time around, he’s got the entire nation behind his back.

“I know that more people started recognizing me in the build up to the Askren fight. It made the loss heavier for me at that point, but I am going to use it as a strength now. I have people supporting me and backing me and that will be a huge source of motivation when I step into the ring this Friday,” he concluded.

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow them on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship

MMA

“Dia menjerit seperti budak perempuan bila ditumbuk” – Paul Malignaggi serang Conor McGregor

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Nampaknya banyak lagi yang perlu dilakukan oleh Conor McGregor sebelum berdepan Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Bekas juara tinju dunia, Paulie Malignaggi, yang dibawa oleh McGregor untuk menjadi rakan latihannya nampaknya tidak berpuas hati dengan tindakan juara Lightweight UFC itu.

Paul Malignaggi dibawa masuk oleh McGregor untuk membantunya berlatih. Photo credit: Bleacher report

Beberapa gambar Malignaggi ketika sesi latihan mereka pada hari Selasa lalu telah tersebar dan menyebabkan peninju itu meninggalkan kem latihan McGregor dan menyerangnya di laman Twitter.

“Dia menjerit seperti seorang budak perempuan setiap kali ditumbuk di badannya,” tulis Malignaggi di laman Twitternya.

Bekas juara tinju itu menyatakan bahawa dia dan McGregor telah berbincang mengenai dua sesi latihan mereka minggu lalu dan MCGregor dikatakan telah memuat naik gambar sesi mereka kerana dia tidak selesa dibelasah oleh Malignaggi.

Dalam serangannya di laman Twitter, Malignaggi turut menyatakan bahawa dia menyesal terbang ke Las Vegas untuk membantu McGregor berlatih dan dia tidak dibayar walau sesen pun untuk menjadi rakan latihan McGregor.

MMA

One Fighting Championship tandatangani gadis berusia 19 tahun dari Malaysia

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Bayangkan gadis berusia 19 tahun sertai MMA dan membelasah pihak lawan yang lebih besar dan tua darinya.

Itulah yang mungkin kita akan dapat lihat apabila Hayatun Najihin, gadis berusia 18 tahun dari Johor menandatangani kontrak untuk menyertai ONE Fighting Championship (ONE FC).

Jihin, juara kategori wanita program pencarian bakat MMA di Malaysia, Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Arts (MIMMA) kini menjadi penggusti paling muda dari Malaysia dalam senarai One FC.

“Boleh anda bayangkan muka comel sebegini berlawan di One Championship? Ramai akan kata budak perempuan ini akan dibelasah!” kata Jihin dalam satu wawancara bersama mmalatestnews.com.

Selepas menunjukkan kemampuannya di gelanggang MIMMA pada tahun lalu apabila menewaskan pihak lawan yang dua kali ganda usianya, adakah kita akan melihat gadis muda dari Johor ini bergelar juara kategori wanita One FC tidak lama lagi? Mungkin dia boleh menggantikan tempat seorang lagi penggusti MMA wanita dari Malaysia, Ann Osman.

Sebelum ini dua penggusti MMA dari Malaysia, Ev Ting dan Agilan Thani telah beraksi untuk merebut kejuaraan One FC dalam kategori masing-masing namun tewas kepada pihak lawan mereka.

MMA

Agilan Thani desperate for backing from Khairy Jamaluddin and KBS

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Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Agilan Thani is hoping to receive backing from the Ministry of Youth and Sports in an effort to make the sport more recognizable throughout Malaysia.

The 21 year-old is doing everything in his power to improve the country’s image, but his fate is destined to be the same of ex-professional boxers Farkhan Haron dan Mirage Khan.

However, MMA is slowly starting to be more known among the local public in the country, especially the youth, so it is not impossible to witness the sport being contested in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games in the future.

Photo credit: mynewshub.cc

“We are constantly looking for support from the government and public because sometimes the smallest things can lead to something big,” Agilan said as quoted by Stadium Astro.

“For example, I win a match and earn RM1,000, and the government awards me with RM1,000. I will be able to use RM2,000 for training sessions to make me a better athlete.”

Agilan “Alligator” Thani, as he is referred to by the media, suffered a loss against defending champion Ben Askren at the ONE: Dynasty Of Heroes title championship last Friday.

Photo Credit: Newsday

The defeat in Singapore ensured that Agilan’s winning streak of seven fights was ended.

MMATV

VIDEO: Agilan Thani vs Ben Askren welterweight title fight

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Malaysian MMA fighter Agilan Thani took on USA’s Ben Askren at the co-main event at the One Championship: Dynasty of Heroes on Friday night.

The fight was called by Agilan, who challenged defending world welterweight champion Askren for his title after defeating Taiwan’s Jeff Huang earlier this year.

The 21-year-old Malaysian fighter fought with great mettle and tried to hold on for as long as he could.

However, after 2 minutes and 22 seconds, Agilan tapped out, submitting to Askren’s arm-triangle choke.

Ben Askren continues to reign as the One welterweight world champion, and says he looks forward to meeting Agilan again in the future.