PETALING JAYA – Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) exponent Agilan “Alligator” Thani has appealed to Malaysians not to turn his loss in the ONE welterweight world championships fight into a racial issue.
Agilan, 21, went on Facebook Live on Saturday night to address the controversy on social media and urged Malaysians to stay united.
The video has gone viral with close to 6,000 shares and 13,000 likes as of Sunday morning.
“I’m making this video because of the issues on Facebook … For example, there was a post about me saying that I’m an Indian, that’s why I don’t deserve a lot of support out there and the Government does not support me,” he said.
“People, please do not condemn and make this a racial issue.”
With a bandage on his right eye, Agilan explained that it is not fair for people to make claims about his career and the support he received without understanding the situation.
“It’s not fair for people to just come up with words saying ‘Oh, ah, you are an Indian, that’s why the Government does not support you’.
“Please do not pull me into this scene, I want to see all the people in Malaysia together,” he said.
He explained, however, that it is difficult for him to receive Government support due to the high-risk nature of the sport.
He also defended The Star’s coverage of his performance on Friday night, saying that the reporters were merely reporting the facts.
Agilan reminded Malaysians that he identified himself as a Malaysian who was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, and urged people to live up to the standards of 1Malaysia.
“I train people in the gym, from Indians, Chinese, Malay, even foreigners. I help them out,” he said, adding that his girlfriend is Chinese.
“We are not different races, we live in Malaysia, people have to be together,” he added.
Agilan tapped out after being caught in defending champion Ben “Funky” Askren’s arm triangle choke at two minutes and 20 seconds into the first round of the ONE: Dynasty Of Heroes title championship at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday.
Agilan’s achievement in the sport has earned him plaudits and admiration from Malaysians, who rallied around him for making the country proud.