Ann Osman is kicking down doors for young women in Malaysia with her mixed martial arts career.
SHE has been the subject of a story by Time magazine, and touted by the New York Times as one of the pioneers of Asian women in the brutal, male-dominated world of mixed martial arts (MMA). And yet, Ann Osman’s professional MMA career is only just starting.
The 27-year-old Kota Kinabalu native has captured the imagination of the world as a strong Muslim woman punching through stereotypes after her first professional fight recently against Singapore’s Sherilyn Lim, seen by many as the first high-level MMA fight involving a Muslim woman.
It was a fight she lost narrowly by a split decision, but that hasn’t stopped the world from getting caught up in her story.
“(The attention) is flattering, but I’m still keeping myself grounded,” said Ann during an interview with R.AGE. “I will always remember where I came from.”
But where she is now is a pretty good place. She has been inundated by media requests, posing in glossy magazines and featured glowingly by international media; and it’s not hard to see why considering her poster girl potential – she’s got the looks, the charisma and the fighting ability all in her corner.
“I’m happy that people perceive my participation in MMA as an inspiration, and I want to keep that up, to keep encouraging girls to break down barriers,” she added.