Coming from South Africa, Irshaad is one of the youngest and probably one of the best strikers to ever compete in ONE FC. Nonetheless with quite an impressive Muay Thai record of 33 fights: 5 loss, 28 win – 12 by knockout and a professional MMA record of 2-1, the South African native will surely be a force to ONE FC’s bantamweight division.
The 22- year- old Irshaad started learning Muay Thai in South Africa after winning all amateur championships; he then went on to Thailand to improve and gain a better knowledge of his skills, winning the WMC World Championship at the age of 18. He is now a certified fitness trainer and has established himself as one of the most famous fighters in Hong Kong as well as being the ambassador for 2XU Compression clothing.
Here are Irshaad’s Muay Thai titles:
South African Kickboxing Champion
WPMF Lightweight Champion 2007
WMC I-1 Asia Champion 2008
WMC I-1 Asia Champion 2009
‘Planet Battle’ WMC Lightweight Champion 2010
‘Fury’ Mixed Martial Arts 60kg Champion 2010
Irshaad is scheduled to fight on February 11 in Jakarta, Indonesia for ONE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP’S second installment against a dangerous Filipino fighter, Jessie “The Finisher” Rafols (6-2-0).
MMAOrient: Do tell us a bit about yourself.
I wasborn in Cape Town, South Africa, I started Muay Thai when I was 14, moved to Thailand after I finished high school to train, went back to South Africa to study and then moved to Hong Kong to work and fight.
MMAOrient: What is your martial arts background?
My back ground is Muay Thai and Kickboxing but lately I have been working on no-gi grappling.
MMAOrient: How did you got into the sport of MMA?
I was offered to fight MMA in Macau a while back and I took the fight against Ngoo Ditty and won by tko and from there I was hooked on MMA.
MMAOrient: Give us your thoughts on your next opponent, Jessie Rafols.
He is a good grappler, surely he will try to take the fight to the ground and I don’t think he would want to stand and trade with me.
MMAOrient: Can you tell us something about your preparations going to this fight against Rafols?
I have been working hard on my sprawl and escapes from the floor and also wall walking.
MMAOrient: What holes do you see in Rafols’ game?
I saw his latest fight and he was very active on the floor but didn’t seem to control a good position for a long time, then he seemed to get tired. So even if we end up on the ground I will be able to shrimp out or reverse him.
MMAOrient: Which team are you training with in preparation for your next bout?
Currently I’m working on my ground game with Rodrigo Caporal from Team Grips in Hong Kong and Quinton Arendse from Team Versus, then I’m working on striking with Vusi Colossa. So I have a good camps here in Hong Kong.
MMAOrient: What will be the key factor for your victory against your Filipino foe?
Key factor will be my condition and my strking.
MMAOrient: How does it feels like fighting under the One FC banner?
It’s a great opportunity for me being a part of ONE FC card, I feel this is the start of great things for fighters in Asia.
MMAOrient: If you weren’t a pro fighter, what do you think you’ll be doing for a living?
If I was not a fighter I have no idea what I’d be doing, most likely in the Police force or Army.
MMAOrient: Lastly, do you have any people you would like to thank?
I would like to thank all my training partners here in Hong Kong, my family in South Africa, my wife here for all the support, Andy for arranging everything, Jaded for the sponsorship and Victor Cui.
Here are some of Irshaad’s Muay Thai/Kickboxing fight videos:
Visit http://onefc.com/ for more information about Irshaad
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