When a 250lbs man, who is well-sculpted and well-versed in mixed martial arts walks in, a thick silence engulfs the rooms.
This is a different kind of beast, who may have found his calling in life – inside the Dojo. Here he can use his size and power to perish his fellow men in un-armed combat.
Masoud Ranjbar (2-0) was an Iranian boxing champion with a 15-1 professional record and used to demolish his fellow competitors on the wrestling mat. It was in Iran that his manager Mishal Abul began to take notice of his raw potential.
“Masoud had boxing and wrestling matches in Iran where he dominated all of them. Since joining AKA he has had to really focus on learning MMA and his cardio. He has transformed into a focused machine. Taking care of his meals, resting, training being more serious.”
He was taken under the wing of UFC veteran and coach Mike Swick at AKA Thailand, in Phuket, and arrived at his professional debut in February 2015, at FMD4.
He won a unanimous decision, learning some lessons along the way, mostly that conditioning is crucial in an MMA fight.
HE HAS TRANSFORMED INTO A FOCUSED MACHINE. TAKING CARE OF HIS MEALS, RESTING, TRAINING AND BEING MORE SERIOUS.
“I have seen him transitioning into the new sport of MMA from his local boxing and wrestling matches in Iran. He has improved his nutrition, his commitment to train, resting when needed. I always get positive feedback from the team at AKA about Masoud.”
He returned almost a year later, in January this year at FMD8 and obliterated his Polish opponent in the first minute, making a statement that Ranjbar had officially entered the building and heavyweights around the world had better take notice.
Now we are in fight week, ahead of FMD12: The 37th Chamber and Ranjbar will take on Britain’s Jamie Sloane (6-2), who will be by far his toughest test as a professional, but for Mishal Abul, his 27-year-old fighter will continue to evolve, and win until everyone takes notice.
“Masoud doesn’t have the global recognition yet or the global competitions but I always noticed his toughness and potential in his early days, he just needed the platform. Masoud will be grateful for FMD for giving Masoud the platform to showcase his skills. After this victory, I believe the world will take notice.”
Full Metal Dojo: The 37th Chamber takes place this Saturday at Insanity Nightclub, Bangkok.