(Featured image via Ann “Athena” Osman)
Ann “Athena” Osman is back and she’s hungrier than ever!
Ann “Athena” Osman, Malaysia’s very first female pro-MMA fighter on ONE FC, will be making her way to the ONE FC octagon for the second time in Dubai at the ONE FC: Reign Of Champions. This time, Osman will be fighting against Filipino’s top boxer, Ana “the Hurricane” Julaton who also happens to be the first female boxer to win the WBO championship in the US. Julaton transitioned into MMA earlier this year when she fought in ONE FC: Rise Of Heroes against Egyptian MMA fighter, Aya Saber.
Hungry to get back into the cage and for a win after her loss in her debut fight, Osman is not going to give Julaton an easy fight. An outdoor enthusiast prior to her MMA career, the fighter with a bubbly personality shared her experience with us in a quick chat.
Q: How did you first get into MMA?
It’s all thanks to my trainer! Haha. Honestly, it started about two and a half years ago and I did it just for the sake of fitness. Prior to MMA, I joined my trainer’s Muay Thai classes before transitioning over to MMA. At the time, MMA was quite new in Malaysia and South East Asia which is also probably one of the reasons why I got involved pretty late. Anyway, I started by training a couple of times a week then I joined my first amateur MMA competition and I fell in love with it. After my first fight, I wanted more. I wanted to do something big out of it and fortunately for me, I received an offer from One Fighting Championship (ONE FC) and made my first professional debut last year.
Q: You mentioned that you trained a couple of times a week when you first started. Has that changed since you became a professional fighter?
Oh yes! I train every day now — eat, sleep, train, repeat! Haha. I train about 3 hours a day during off seasons and about 4 to 5 hours a day during fight seasons.
Q: Sounds intense! Apart from the thrill, what is it that you love most about being a MMA fighter?
When I first started training, it was all about the fitness, getting the body. But there’s a lot more to MMA than just looking good and getting fit. Honestly for me, the main thing I love is that I get to learn new things. MMA is just that — it’s Mix Martial Arts so it challenges you all the time and the need to perfect and improve everything is highly important because it affects your performance. My style features more Muay Thai and ground works such as wrestling and jujitsu. It feels like a never ending process because there’s always something new to learn with each one of these styles and that’s what I love about it.
Q: Oh cool! Like every other fighter, you have your own fight name, “Athena”. What made you go with the name “Athena”?
Honestly, the name was given to me. You see, the rule in our gym is that we have to earn our fight name and I was given the name “Athena” by my trainer right after my first amateur fighter. According to him, I’m an “Athena” because I have the drive and heart to win and to improve so the name stuck, and I love it.
Q: I’m glad you did because it is a beautiful name! What is it like being in the cage?
Thank you! Oh it’s a feeling that words can’t really describe. I always get a mixture of emotions and feeling when I’m walking out to the cage but I always try to remain calm because it can really affect my game. However, once I’m in the cage, I normally feel a wave of adrenaline rush hit me because of the brights lights and the excitement from the people watching. It’s intense — it’s scary yet at the same time it’s amazing. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s an experience that money can’t buy.
Q: It sounds like one heck of an experience! 🙂 You’re going against Ana Julaton on August 29th in Dubai. Are you excited?
Very much so. I’m actually fighting in a different weight class than I usually do so yes, I am very excited. I’ve not been fighting for 9 months now and it’s great to know that I will be fighting soon! I’m just so hungry to get back into the cage to fight.
Q: Haha that’s cool. If you could pick an actor to play you in a movie, who would you pick and why?
Can I star in my own movie? Hahaha! I would pick Angelina Jolie — everyone knows why! I have so much admiration for her. She’s one of my favourite actresses and seeing her in different stunt and action movies makes me adore her even more. Also, she’s freaking gorgeous. I mean, she’s HOT!
Q: Can’t disagree with you there. She is hot! What about music, what kind of music do you listen to when you train?
It varies. Most of the time I listen to dubstep, edm and trance. You know, the kind of music that will keep me pumped up but there are also times when I like listening to more chilled out stuff like slow R&B. You know, my first walkout song was one by Skrillex! Hahaha.
That’s fantastic! Thank you so much for talking to us today. Good luck in your fight!
It was my pleasure. Thank you for everything!
Ann “Athena” Osman takes on Ana “the Hurricane” Julaton on August 29th, 2014 in Dubai. We wish her all the best!