Ann Athena Osman, from Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia is a fierce young woman who is taking major strides in changing today's society. At only 28 she is Malaysia's 1st Muslim Pro Women's Mixed Martial Arts fighter to fight in Asia's biggest Mixed Martial Arts organization, ONE Fighting Championship.
Her love affair with fitness led her to try her first combat sport Muay Thai only a couple of years ago. As her love for fighting grew she was then introduced to MMA which turned out to be a perfect fit. Osman has competed in both Muay Thai and MMA amateur tournaments.
Photo retrieved from MMA Weekly
Ann truly represents Asian women in this mainly male-dominated sport. Her success has motivated other women to enter MMA and follow their dreams no matter what they may be.
After being named one of TIME's Next Generation Leaders, Ann was asked Some people are critical of a Muslim woman fighting in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), especially in Islamic countries. What do you say to your critics? Being a mixed martial artist and being a Muslim as well shouldn't hinder what I want to do or with achieving my goals or my ambition. I work hard at what I do and I always believe in myself and to me that's what matters.
Osman is going beyond Malaysian borders to inspire strength in women across Asia. She has travelled to various regions to teach self-defense skills to women building the confidence they need to be able to protect themselves. In particular, she recently had a trip to Cambodia where she gave one of her classes to sex trafficking victims.
Osman has fought the battle of overcoming religious and social controversies. She has been nothing but an inspirational champion, a women's advocate and entrepreneur. She's a warrior in all senses.
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