Whenever Malaysia’s Agilan Thani steps into the ONE Championship cage, he has someone very special in his corner.
His girlfriend Amy Chia isn’t just a supportive partner. She’s also an integral part of his team, helping him stay on track with his training and nutrition, and even serves as one of his cornermen during his contests.
“She is always in my corner,” he told ONE Championship.
“She is right there backstage, and in the corner, every time.
“I am always trying not to diet too much or mess around, and she will be like, ‘You know you have to make weight, if you screw up now, you are going to suffer later.’ She will be up in my face. I am like, ‘Why are you doing this to me now,’” he laughed.
“She does not let me get away with anything!”
Chia keeping Thani on a short leash in this regard has certainly proven successful. He’s one of the leading welterweight contenders in ONE Championship, with many believing he stands only a win or two away from challenging for the ONE Welterweight Title once again.
His relationship with Chia started when they met at his home gym Monarchy MMA, where he was cleaning the floors as part of an agreement to earn free training sessions from owner Samir Mrabet.
The pair haven’t looked back since, though Thani hasn’t had to mop quite as many floors in recent years.
“I was just doing a cleaning job at Monarchy, and that is where I met my girlfriend,” said the 22-year-old.
“As my amateur career continued, I fell in love with her, and she fell in love with me.
“I did my best to make more money so we could start a life together. We got an apartment, and now we are here. We have been so strong.
“She is the only person who has always been supportive of whatever I am doing. Until this day, I do all this crazy stuff, and no matter what I say, she will say, ’Let’s do it!’”
The life of a martial artist isn’t the easiest at times. Training is hard, and victory on bout night is far from guaranteed. Defeats happen, and Thani has experienced just one loss in his career – against legendary ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren in his lone title challenge to date.
Through the good and bad, Thani has had Chia by his side.
“It is very important in my career,” he begins.
“From the day that I met my girlfriend until now, I only think about one person, which is my girlfriend, because she believes in me. As long as she believes in me, I will do anything to make my dreams become possible.”
Those dreams continue when Thani steps back into the ONE Championship cage to take on SFL Welterweight Champion Amitesh “Hitman” Chaubey.The bout takes place on Friday, 9 March, at ONE: VISIONS OF VICTORY in his hometown of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
He’ll be looking to pick up another big win, not just to further his career, but to impress his better half.
“It is always a good chemistry,” he said.
“You always need good vibes around you when you compete, and there is no better person to be there for you than the one that you love. You will compete because you have to show off in front of her!”