There were not many options or pathways for aspiring MMA fighters in Singapore, back in 2011. Kingpins One Fighting Championship (ONE FC) inaugural event was held on the September of 2011 and before that, the now defunct Martial Combat didn’t have much success, so young Amir Khan Ansari took the suggestion of his mentor Alvin Seet and with the blessing of his parents flew to the States at the tender age of 15 and has been living, studying, training and fighting MMA competitions for the past 3 years. He has just recently signed a fight contract with ONE FC and is set to return to Singapore in the month of May after he completes his high school diploma. It could be mere coincidence or fate, as ONE FC is scheduled to have an event in Singapore the month he returns and hopefully his NS obligation won’t be a stumbling block as it will be interesting to see how he would fare amongst fighters who have trained around this region.
His fighting career started when his dad caught him sparring under the void deck with his friends during his adolescent years. Unlike most Singaporeans dads who would shun the idea of their own son fighting, Amir’s dad instead encouraged him to get proper training which resulted in him joining ASFitness and where he learnt Muay Thai. Within just a few months of training, he flew to Thailand to participate in a Muay Thai competition and won a title belt at the tender age of 14 and has achieved significant success in Muay Thai before transitioning into MMA. Walking out to his MMA fights with his Muay Thai shorts, would suggest that Amir is just a striker but he has picked up Jiu Jitsu and represents his school in wrestling competitions in the United States.
Living in the states wasn’t easy at first. He started off working and living in a gym, bought himself a bicycle for transportation as Shreveport, Louisiana doesn’t have a public transport system like Singapore, as most of the locals have their own form of transportation. Despite his struggles, his drive and passion in martial arts with constant support from his parents, who occasionally flies to stay with him in the US, have helped him settle down comfortably. He also managed to get his own apartment and was driving his own car when he turned 16.
The 18 year old who is dubbed the “Asian Cowboy”, fights under the Karate Mafia Fight Team under coach Donny Aarons. He has a perfect 4-0 amateur MMA record with 3 decisions and 1 KOt coming via a devastating flurry of knee strikes to his opponent’s head. He recently made his pro debut on February of 2014 in the US and lost via a straight ankle lock in the first round. He has vowed to return stronger and is already looking forward to his first Jiu-jitsu Tournament in Houston on the 15th of February. There is so much to come from this young athlete and I personally can’t wait to see him in action on home soil.
Video by: Tahir Ansari / Photos taken off Amir Khan’s Facebook page
This article was first published in The Fight Scene