Other Sports: Askren stands in Agilan’s path to the world title | The Star Online


Askren stands in Agilan’s path to the world title

PETALING JAYA: Undefeated Agilan “Alligator” Thani (pic) is set to be the second Malaysian mixed martial arts (MMA) exponent to get a shot at the world title.

The 21-year-old will take on ONE welterweight world champion Ben “Funky” Askren at the ONE: Dynasty Of Heroes at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on May 26.

Sentul local Agilan has earned the title shot following a perfect 7-0 record as a professional, including a spectacular submission victory over veteran welterweight Jeff Huang in February.

Agilan, who trains at the Monarch MMA gym in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, had challenged Askren for the title after his win over Jeff and the duo have been involved in a Twitter spat.

His 32-year-old opponent Askren is also unbeaten as a professional with 15 wins.

The American won the ONE welterweight title in August 2014 and last fought at the ONE: Global Warriors in April 2016, when he successfully defended his title against Russian Nikolai Aleksakhin.

New Zealand-based Ev Ting will be the first Malaysian MMA exponent to earn a title shot when he takes on ONE lightweight champion Eduard Folayang of the Philippines at the ONE: Kings of Destiny in Manila on April 21.