Amir Khan is fearless as he prepares for his upcoming battle. The Singaporean lightweight will take on battle-tested veteran Vaughn “The Spawn” Donayre at ONE: DEFENDING HONOR on Friday Night, 11 November, live at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Donayre, a Filipino mixed martial artist who fights out of FitRepublik Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, is a Pan Asian BJJ Champion. He holds an 8-5 record, with three of those victories coming by TKO and another three by submission.
Though Amir acknowledges Donayre’s strengths, he is more focused on his own game.
“His strengths would be his durability and cage experience. He throws really hard single shots — I will be wary of that,” the 22-year-old admits. “I am not taking him lightly by any means, but I am also not overly concerned about what he can do to me. I am just going out there with my best effort.”
Originally, the Evolve MMA product was supposed to tangle with undefeated grappler Samir “Flexible” Mrabet, but an injury forced him out of the bout. Donayre is filling in on two weeks’ notice, and despite the late substitution, Amir’s preparation has not been modified too drastically.
“My game plan and strategy has not changed much at all,” he states. “The only difference I would say is that I will be able to engage more on the ground.
“I train with different partners every day, sparring with Muay Thai World Champions such as Nong-O Gaiyanghadao and Sagetdao Petpayathah. I am prepared for any kind of fighter.
“There are so many aspects to the MMA game. By training with all the world champions at Evolve, whether Muay Thai, BJJ, boxing, or MMA, I am able to prepare for everything.
“This preparation gives me the confidence no matter where the fight goes. No matter what happens, I am confident of coming out victorious.”
Aside from the world-class training he has been receiving at Evolve, he is particularly confident of achieving victory in this upcoming bout with “The Spawn” because he and his team have examined his opponent’s recent match from April’s ONE: GLOBAL RIVALS.
“I saw Donayre’s last fight against Honorio Banario. He held up three rounds with him. I think he is a tough guy with lots of experience, but his skills do not intimidate me,” Amir says. “I will finish him in the first four minutes of the first round, either by KO or TKO.”
The lightweight, who holds a 5-2 record, has finished all of his fights via strikes. That should not be too surprising, however, as he is a Singaporean Muay Thai Champion. Simply put, Amir is as exciting as they come, but does not always go into the cage looking to be elusive or flashy.
“Yes, I would say I am a fighter that always looks to finish,” he says. “I do not necessarily try to force anything in the cage, however.
“I just go out there and fight my fight, which happens to involve looking for openings to finish and capitalizing on them when they are there.
“At the end of the day, the best way to ensure a win is to finish it, so why not do that?”
Not only is he diligently focusing on his training, but he is also keeping busy with Singapore’s compulsory National Service (NS). Amir is currently enlisted with the Singapore Civil Defence Force, as well as training in mixed martial arts full time.
For most professional fighters, this would be too much, and mean MMA would have to take a back seat. But somehow, Amir is making everything work.
“Managing both my MMA career and my National Service duties can be tiring,” he admits. “I, however, feel that it really helps me set my priorities right and forces me to get good at time management.
“The discipline I gain from [NS] is something I value. MMA is my passion and I am also proud to have the chance to serve my nation.”