People October 30, 2014

10 Things You Didn’t Know About MMA Fighter Amir Khan

Singapore Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter, Amir Khan, made a successful debut earlier this year. We find out more about this up-and-coming fighter before his next bout at ONE FC: Battle of Lions.

By Daniel Loy

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20-year-old Amir Khan may suffer from Tourette Syndrome, but he’s learned to shrug it off and focus on the fight at hand

1. Amir may have the same name as the professional boxer, but he isn’t a ripoff.
“Amir Khan is indeed my birth name. My great-grandfather was from Pakistan, and the surname ‘Khan’ is actually pretty common over there.”

2. He’s been involved in martial arts since an early age.
“I started learning Taekwando when I was 5 years old, took a break some time later and picked up Muay Thai when I was 13. I competed in around 20 Muay Thai fights before falling in love with MMA and transitioning to it. I currently train at Evolve MMA with world-class instructors and teammates.”

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Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling are some of the skills that this young lad brings to each fight

3. Dad and a boxing legend are his heroes.
“My dad’s is a golf instructor and he’s my inspiration. He’s always hardworking and when he sets his mind to do something, he always does it. I’m really close to him and we always talk. In fact, he’s been supportive of me since day one. As for fighters, I look up to Muhammad Ali.”

4. Amir spent considerable time in the States.
“A friend over in America called and asked if I wanted to live and train there as well as go to school and experience a new culture. I took the opportunity and ended up staying in Shreveport, Louisiana, for close to four years. Living by myself there, I learned to be independent and even completed my high school diploma.”

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Amir making his way to the cage during ONE FC: Rise of the Kingdom in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

5. Amir has a quiet confidence.
“Initially, I was nervous and for months leading up to the fight, thoughts like, ‘Am I going to win or lose?’, and, ‘How am I going to win?’, went through my mind. But upon entering the cage, I felt really calm and I knew I would win. I wanted to show the crowd what I’m capable of.”

6. He also has a very particular pre-fight ritual.
“I usually cut my hair before a fight, reason being when I enter the cage, I need to look my best and feel 100%. When you look good, you feel good. In the weeks leading up to the fight, I don’t do anything else besides training and spending time with my dad by watching movies and talking about the upcoming fight with him.”

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Amir landing a devastating punch on his opponent (watch the full fight below)

7. Amir packs a mean punch, but he isn’t like this outside the cage.
“Some people think I’m aggressive, but I don’t fight outside the cage and am actually very calm. People assume that fighters go around picking fights and bullying others but most fighters don’t do that. We’re normal people, really.”

8. He may have Tourette Syndrome, but he won’t let it affect him.
“When I was younger, I was embarrassed and and socially affected. As I got older, I began to understand and accept who I am. I also learned how to control the syndrome. Right now it doesn’t affect me, even when I’m fighting. I can do what everyone else does and have a healthy social life.”

9. Like us, Amir has his cheat days.
“I have a strict diet but when it’s time for a cheat meal I really enjoy having cookies and cream ice cream.”

10. Positivity is the name of his game.
“I will eventually have to do National Service, but it’s just a small break that I have to take. I’m not really worried and I don’t think it will affect my career. I look at things positively because once you look at them negatively, it won’t turn out good and will lead to depressed feelings and a lack of fun. Looking at something the right way means you’ll at least get something good out of it.”

Want to win tickets to watch Amir Khan and other fighters duke it out at ONE FC: Battle of Lions? Take part in our giveaway now!