After years of strutting his wares in the local ranks of the flourishing Indian martial arts circuit, homegrown talent Amitesh “Hitman” Chaubey finally gets his long-awaited break into the international scene as he is set to make his promotional debut under the ONE Championship banner on Friday, 9 March.
Chaubey sets foot on the global stage against former world title contender Agilan “The Alligator” Thani of Malaysia on the undercard of ONE: VISIONS OF VICTORY, which takes place at Kuala Lumpur’s state-of-the-art showground of Axiata Arena.
The 27-year-old native of Lucknow, India expressed his delight that he is now part of ONE Championship’s burgeoning roster of world-class talent.
“I’ve worked so hard to reach this point of my career. Now I can finally say that I’ve made it. Even if it is seen as a cause for celebration, it’s just the beginning. The real work begins on 9th of March,” Chaubey stated.
Although it will be the international audience’s first glimpse of Chaubey in action, the Indian standout made rounds on the internet nearly three years ago when a video of him knocking out a brash competitor went viral.
Chaubey gained instant fame when he scored a nine-second knockout victory over compatriot Jason Solomon under the umbrella of India-based Super Fight League in September 2015.
Nicknamed “The Delhi Don”, Solomon swaggered his way into the cage as he was booked to duke it out with Chaubey, who was riding high on a four-bout winning streak at that time.
Solomon swung flamboyantly into the ring, using the top of the cage fence and pausing for a second to stare at the camera before setting off for a lap of the arena to wave at his fans.
Upon reaching his opponent, Solomon mockingly shoved his face into his rival, standing apparently in a state of meditation in anticipation of the match before laughing dismissively to continue his premature victory lap.
Nine seconds later, Solomon was laid unconscious on the canvas by Chaubey with a powerful overhand right that left the fans at the arena speechless.
“When the video went viral, the match was long forgotten. All of a sudden, this video pops up, everyone’s calling me, everyone’s texting me, everyone’s tagging me on my social media accounts, my phone is just blowing up,” Chaubey recalled in jest.
“At that time, I already knew my opponent’s attitude and how he carried himself in and outside the cage. I just had to keep my focus. I didn’t let him get into my head because my desire was to win,” he added.
Chaubey might have received a ton of attention for his quick sensational win over Solomon, but he suggested that it is time to move on from that particular moment of his professional career.
Wanting to show everyone the result of all the hard work he has done over the years, Chaubey seeks to prove that he is more than a viral sensation.
“That bout did get me a lot of attention. I am thankful for that, but I am opening a new chapter in my career with my upcoming bout in ONE Championship. It’s time to dig deep and raise my stock as a competitor at the international level,” he stated.
Chaubey knows that a tough test awaits him at ONE: VISIONS OF VICTORY as he shares the cage with one of the promotion’s high-caliber welterweights.
Thani’s quick rise through the ranks has seen him amass a stellar 8-1 professional record, including a title shot against former ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren in May 2017.
Even though Thani fell short against Akren, he received a great amount of experience as a result and has emerged as a more seasoned combatant.
Thani is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Egyptian stalwart Sherif “The Shark” Mohamed in August 2017 to place himself back on the winning track.
“It’s definitely a tough test for me. This bout is no joke. He has faced the best in the division. But make no mistake about it, I love challenges. I know this match will bring out the best of me,” he said.
Primarily a boxing stylist who stifles opponents with his quick hands and fluid combinations, Chaubey has displayed some grappling expertise in the past as he has a few submission victories to his name.
Chaubey assured that he is capable to handle Thani’s impeccable ground game, which has given the Malaysian four victories by way of submission.
“That’s the beauty of this sport. You have a lot of tools to solve the problem. Agilan Thani is a very good, quality opponent, and I am just hopeful to put on a show for everyone and show my best against him,” he stressed.
Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds, Chaubey remains optimistic that he will put the martial arts world on notice again with a triumph over Thani.
“I think the viral video created a good momentum for me. It gave me a little bit of an edge. But it’s different now. It’s an all-new territory. I am here to make a statement,” he ended.