Mohamed Mahmoud was hell-bent on winning the gold for Malaysia in kickboxing but with only two months of training, it was a tough ask.
The 23-year-old, who is a mixed martial artist and a proficient Muay Thai fighter, battled it into the final but was no match for the Philippines’ Jean Claude Saclag.
Even with his tall 1.78m frame and metallic green hair, the ONE Championship fighter’s inexperience in kickboxing was evident throughout the match.
The 1.70m Saclag, who was buoyed by the Filipino crowd, was smart with his punches and kicks and relied on points to beat the much taller Mohamed.
The match ended 3-0 but Mohamed will surely learn from this defeat.
Mohamed was disappointed not to win the gold but was thankful for the chance to compete in the Games.
“Before the fight, I looked into the the mirror and told myself I must win the gold.
“However, Saclag is much experienced than me because he is an expert in this form of fighting, “ said Mohamed who has been training in Muay Thai for five years.
“The crowd did not intimidate me at all. I have fought in crowds like this before.
“In ONE Championship, I fight Muay Thai. There is an elbow, clinching and knee.
“In kickboxing, you can’t do all that. I made some mistakes because of my inexperience. I want to apologise to the Malaysian people who supported me.”
Mohamed, who goes by the moniker Jordan Boy, said he hopes to be given another chance in the SEA Games.
“I would love to fight in Vietnam in two years. I will surely prepare myself better.
“Now, I will have a one-week break, and return to training for the ONE Championship next month in Bangkok.”
Another Malaysian exponent Awangku Abdul Rahman Awang Marajaya was no match for his feisty Vietnamese opponent Nguyen Xuan Phuong.
He was beaten 3-0 in the 57kg full contact final bout.
The Vietnamese unleashed a barrage of punches in all three rounds and Xuan Phuong had an answer for every punch and kick Awangku tried.
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