Despite suffering a submission setback at the hands of Ben “Funky” Askren, Malaysian prospect Agilan Thani is still gazing at the bright side of his situation.
Thani failed in his bid to become the first Malaysian MMA competitor to capture a coveted world title in the sport by yielding to Askren in the co-main event of ONE: Dynasty of Heroes in Singapore last Friday.
Defending his ONE Welterweight World Championship title for the third time, Askren pulled off a flawless performance as the four-time NCAA All-American wrestler and 2008 Olympian submitted Agilan Thani with a first-round arm-triangle choke.
Askren never appeared in jeopardy as he executed a takedown, carved through the Malaysian’s guard, and framed the choke for the finish at 2:20 of the opening frame.
Thani sees his loss to Askren as an important lesson because he considers it as an opportunity to patch the loopholes in his overall MMA game.
IT WILL SERVE AS AN INSPIRATION TO PUSH MYSELF TO THE LIMIT. I WILL TRIPLE MY TIME IN TRAINING.
“It’s not a defeat, it’s a lesson. It will serve as an inspiration to push myself to the limit. I will triple my time in training,” he said.
According to Thani, his defeat was no one’s fault but his own as he was dealing with a lot of pressure.
“It’s still a long way before I become a world champion, I know that. But maybe this is where I start. I’ve taken the defeat in a good spirit. I don’t have any regrets and I don’t blame anyone. It’s my fault,” he stressed.
“But although I didn’t win, I’m still proud at being able to put Malaysia on the map. Having had the experience of facing a world champion, I can now better prepare myself mentally and physically for future matches,” Thani added.
The 21-year-old native of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia stressed that he has no plans to take some time off to reassess his future because he wants to go back in training.
“This will not stop me. I have to go back to the drawing board. I will be back in the gym very soon to train and improve,” Thani stated.
Thani asserted that he looks to get back inside the ONE Championship cage as soon as possible to redeem himself from the submission loss to Naito.
“I’m still in high spirits. I want to fight as soon as possible. Winning and fighting again will motivate me,” he ended.