Malaysian teenage Muay Thai fighter dreams of claiming contract, ONE Championship belt

BANGKOK: Despite his young age of just 16, Malaysian Muay Thai exponent, Muhammad Johan Ghazali Zulfikar is driven by an ambitious dream – to attain the prestigious ONE Championship contract of US$100,000 (RM460,553) and secure the highly coveted championship belt.

Continuing his remarkable journey in the ONE Championship, Muhammad Johan or better known as 'Jojo', delivered another awe-inspiring performance in the ONE Championship on Friday.

The young Malaysian fighter left the crowd spellbound as he unleashed a spectacular knockout blow, leaving his opponent, Tai Sor Jor Piek Uthai, 24, a two-time Lumpinee Stadium Muay Thai World Champion, stunned.

"My target is to get the ONE Championship contract of US$100,000, but my ultimate goal is to be a ONE Championship champion," he told Bernama.

Johan who represents Rentap Muay Thai Club, also bagged 350,000 baht (RM46,000) for his second knockout in a row. In February, Johan stunned fans in his promotional debut where he took just 16 seconds to knockout his 18-year-old Thai opponent, Padetsuk Fairtex, in their flyweight Muay Thai clash.

"I feel that the ONE Championship belt is bound for me. I am the future," he told the crowd at the Lumpinee Stadium after winning the fight on Friday.

Johan once again delivered an electrifying performance, showcasing his skills and determination to secure the victory.

Undeterred by the bleeding cut on his head and the persistent taunting from Tai, who provocatively stuck his tongue out, Johan's punches continued to rain down with relentless force.

With a powerful left hook-right overhand combo, he delivered a devastating blow that left his opponent down and out.

"I was aware of the bleeding from the cut, I was mindful that the referee could halt the fight at any moment. With that in mind, I exerted every ounce of effort to secure a swift victory," he said.

On his aspiration to secure the ONE Championship contract and belt, Johan acknowledged the doubts surrounding his ambitions.

"Many years ago, people deemed my dream of competing in the ONE Championship as grandiose. That dream has become a reality.

"Now, Im pursuing new goals. I understand that skepticism may arise once again. Nevertheless, I am fully committed to giving my absolute best and proving those skeptics wrong," he said.

He paid tribute to his parents, thanking them for their unwavering support throughout the highs and lows of his journey over the last six years.

He also extended his gratitude and appreciation to his coach, Addy Singpayak, for consistently ensuring his training regime remained on track. – Bernama

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