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.”
A growing player in terms of serious athletics trainers, Puma’s new Tishatsu is probably their best yet.
Whether you’re running heavy kilometres on a treadmill or working up a sweat in your weekly CrossFit class with kettlebell squats, fast-paced plyometric routines or burpees – it is a necessity to have the right footwear at your disposal.
There’s no better boost than knowing you have a spring in your step – and as such, an extra step closer to your end goal. The Tishatsu has a fitness feel, for sure. It’s an all-round offering from Puma – designed to repay your feet for the pounding you are putting them through.
Built to go the distance or help you make the most out of an explosive, high-intensity workout after a long day batting away with emails in the office, Puma’s shoe comes with a strong layered mid-sole, including charged cushioning on top and soft surface on the bottom for a rapid response.
The heel counter also provides a sturdy foot-to-ground impact, giving valuable support and maximising flexibility, allowing you cope with a mixture of challenging exercises. These modern features, along with new and approved moisture absorption control, ensure seamless comfort.
The shoe fits like a glove and will make a noticeable difference to your training. The Tishatsu respond well to tough routines, especially activities where your lower legs are taking on the bulk of the work and they need that extra element of power.
Coming in a range of colours, their design is simple – and ultimately built for business and getting the job done.
WE RATE IT: 9 out of 10: An affordable able, slick modern shoe which is perfect for fast-paced UAE gym life. Be prepared to reach your fitness goals quicker than originally planned with this Puma product.
One of the toughest and most enjoyable races in the region, the Urban-Ultra Mount Sana, is set to return for a second year and will take place in the stunning mountains of the UAE on March 22.
The fully supported single-stage race, which features a choice of 21km and 60km distances to entrants, will see you navigate through rocky terrain – with an elevation profile of approximately 1000 metres in total – and over the spectacular mount passes of Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.
This is a race not to be missed and based on the positive response from last year is one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the year.
Running over difficult terrain and in soaring temperatures is a challenge and not for those who haven’t done much training leading up to the race. But a generous cut-off time of 11 hours to finish allows most physically fit, determined and well-prepared runners to get to the finish.
With event season at its peak in the UAE, the Urban-Ultra Mount Sana is perfect for gutsy and positive individuals. If you think you fit the bill, hurry as you only have until March 14 to sign up.
The only hotel close to the start is Khatt Springs Hotel in Ras Al Khaimah, so your choice is to camp at the Wadi Koob village venue the night before, book the hotel close by or take the 75 minute journey from Dubai on the morning of the race.
As part of the registration, which you will make via Premier Online, each participant will receive a t-shirt.
Checkpoints, water, fruit and electrolytes are all provided by the event organisers throughout the race – but runners have to carry their mandatory kit, with full details found in the athlete guide when you sign up.
Back packs, hats, water pouch, headtorch and sun cream are some of the things you will need to carry among your belongings.
At the finish line, every runner will pick up a medal and be able to share their race experiences with fellow competitors in the race village, where refreshments will be served.
WHAT: Urban-Ultra Mount Sana
WHERE: Wadi Koob village
WHEN: Friday, March 22
CONTACT: For more information or to register, visit urbanultra.com or www.premieronline.com