Sports

Singapore’s Radeem Rahman is ready to pull off the upset in Yangon

Radeem Rahman (3-1) may have been offered a short notice bout just a few days ago, but he answered the call and now, he is prepared to defeat a martial arts legend.

On Friday, 26 October, the Singaporean will take on Masakazu “Ashikan Judan” Imanari (36-18-2) at ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS, which will take place at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

Rahman accepted the match just a few days ago, but he has been regularly training and sharpening his skills at Phuket Top Team in Thailand in case a late-minute opportunity popped up.

“I have been staying active by constantly training in various disciplines,” he explains. “Even though it’s a short notice, physically, I feel prepared.”

The 31-year-old made a successful return to the cage at ONE: GRIT & GLORY in May following a nearly four-year hiatus from the sport. He quickly submitted undefeated Chinese Sanda Champion Tang De Pan via rear-naked choke in 79 seconds.

Now representing Neue Fit in Singapore and Phuket Top Team, Rahman is gearing up for the biggest contest in his young mixed martial arts career.

“I am going up against a legend, and he is my idol,” he admits.

Imanari is a two-division DEEP champion who has 25 wins coming by way of submission. 

Radeem Rahman
Radeem RahmanPHOTO: ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

Like Rahman, “Ashikan Judan” also left ONE Championship for a few years before making his return in early 2018.

The Japanese icon, who earned his nickname due to his innovative leg lock submissions, will look to utilize his grappling prowess when he takes on the well-rounded Singaporean, who enters the bout with a 100 percent finishing rate.

Rahman is fully aware that his opponent is vastly more experienced, especially when it comes to jiu-jitsu. However, he is confident he can shock the world and defeat Imanari in Yangon.

“My advantage is cardio and striking, but in combat sports, a slight mistake is all it takes to end the bout,” he says. “It’s time to make an upset.” 

MMA (MIXED MARTIAL ARTS)