It is not often a person can say they are a world champion in their respective discipline, but Dubai resident Viktor Zaman can reflect back on his career one day that he was on top of the world.
The 30-year-old Croatian national, who has been living in the UAE for the past five years, is a former IFMA World Champion in 2008 and K1 World Championship in 2011.
And the Zagreb native showed his world class abilities recently, sealing victory in the 81kg category of UAE Muay Thai Championship, sponsored by H.H Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
With Muay Thai still at its early stages of development in the Emirates, Zaman is one of the people who has the chance to blaze a trail and grow the sport such is his vast experience in competition and training over the years.
“This is the second year of the Muay Thai competition here and it’s grown a lot,” said Zaman, who holds a mechanical engineering degree.
“With my experience, I want to help build the sport of Muay Thai in the UAE. I want to be more involved and want to build a school for adults and youths to improve and get involved in the sport.”
With a formidable 69 victories from 85 amateur fights, Zaman has gained buckets of knowledge over the years which he feels can help improve the sport in the region.
“At the moment, Muay Thai is still growing in the UAE as the UAE Muaythai-Kickboxing Federation was only formed in 2017. It’s mostly focused in Abu Dhabi but in Dubai it’s picking up,” he said.
“It’s a beautiful martial art of eight limp. You can punch with hands, kicks, knees and elbows with long clinch. It’s a very specific martial art with complete stand up fighting.
“With a good background having already implementing BJJ in the UAE, you are all around prepared for the fight.”
For his fights, Zaman prepares at Power Life Boxing for strength and conditioning work and then does his fighting work at Team Nogueira in Al Quoz.
“I prepared myself with Andrija Heder. I did four months of conditioning. Generally what we are implementing it’s called the Wellbeing Movement training system which we run in the gym, but I did more specific sports performance training made for athletes. Fighting part of preparation I did with Team Nogueira guys. We did sparring combination a few times,” he said.
“I have good experience from my past. If I condition myself, my head is ready and I can achieve everything.”
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