Meet The 25-Year-Old Malaysian Pro MMA Fighter Who Was Once Bullied For Being Fat
Agilan Thani is no stranger to the mixed martial arts (MMA) scene in Malaysia
In December last year, the Sentul-born athlete put on an electrifying performance when he beat US MMA fighter Dante Schiro at ONE Championship's martial arts event in Kuala Lumpur.
Having been professionally competing for the past six years, the 25-year-old has come a long way facing battles both inside and outside of the ring
Growing up, Agilan was raised by a single father after his mother abandoned them when he was an infant.
As a teenager, he struggled with obesity and weighed 139kg, which made him the target for bullies who often called him shameful nicknames like "Kung Fu Panda" or "fat boy".
This led him to seek martial arts training in an attempt to lose weight and defend himself.
"I really got a chance to build myself from scratch and that's why I think I have stuck with it ever since," he shared in an interview with SAYS.
After battling depression and going through several major surgeries, there were many times Agilan had wanted to just call it quits
However, he looks back now, grateful for those challenges.
Everything I have been through is nothing but good for me, in fact, it's probably the best lessons I have learned.
Agilan's martial arts journey of becoming stronger and transforming into a welterweight martial arts phenomenon is one that is certainly inspiring.
His win-loss ratio is currently 10 - 4.
"My most memorable fight was with Zebaztian Kadestam. It really showed me how far my body could go regardless of how injured [I was], I was still performing," he said.
Dubbed the 'Alligator', the relentless 25-year-old has proven that it is important to not just fight and win consistently but to also look after yourself
"The bullies were definitely a great thing that happened to me because I realised that no matter how much I tried to 'win' a bully, I cannot win... [It] has definitely given me a mindset to look at things in a more positive way," he shared with SAYS.
The boy from Sentul has certainly come far and is only going to achieve even more in the years to come.