MIRAGE Khan is a modern-day ‘Bruce Lee’ and like his idol, the Malaysian is a master in various disciplines of combat sports.
The 29-year-old, who is of Pakistani-Malaysian parentage, has represented the country in sanshou boxing, mixed martial arts and amateur boxing.
Now, the Kuala Lumpur-born has been asked by the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) to compete in combat sambo at the Philippines Sea Games later this year.
“I was approached by OCM about three weeks ago and they asked me if I would be interested to represent Malaysia in combat sambo.
“I said ‘Yes’ because to me combat sports means only one thing — hurt your opponent and bring him down,” Mirage told Timesport yesterday.
Mirage definitely has a point as he has proven himself in several major competitions, including winning two silver medals at the 2012 Asian Wushu Championships and the Sanda World Cup.
Apart from wushu, Mirage is also a two-time Malaysian Invasion Mixed Martial Arts (MIMMA) winner, bagging the title in season three and four.
Born and raised in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Mirage, who works as an executive protection manager, is grateful to his employers, K&K Securities Sdn Bhd, for allowing him to represent the country.
“It's not easy when you’re working because you need to find time to train and compete but my employers have been really nice and supportive.
“In fact, they have been encouraging me to bring pride to the country. All this while, I just thought of myself as a ‘Jaguh Kampung’.
“That is why I am looking forward to this Sea Games, I would like to deliver that gold medal,” added Mirage, who also made the top 16 in boxing at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Initially, Mirage was Malaysia’s only choice for the under 90kg category at this year’s Sea Games, but there are now several others who have expressed their interest.
To be fair, Mirage has agreed to participate in a trial on July 14, organised by the Malaysia Sambo Association (Sambo Malaysia).
“I don’t mind. To me, it’s important to be fair. At the end of the day, we are all representing Malaysia.
“The best man should go, it’s as simple as that. If someone else is better than me, then that person deserves to go,” Mirage explained.
Apart from the under 90kg category, Malaysia are also expected to compete in the under 84kg event.
In his youngers days, Mirage was an overweight average ‘Joe’, who was bullied in school before he joined a gym 10 years ago to build muscles.
He took up boxing first before trying his hand at other combat sports.
In 2014, Mirage went to China to fight in competitions in the hope of winning prize money to pay for his late mother’s hospital bills totalling RM90,000.
Mirage’s mother, Guladama Gull-Rahman, who was a diabetic, underwent appendix surgery at a specialist centre.
Unfortunately, she died when he was on his way back from China.
It was a struggle then for Mirage as his siblings were still studying, but the setbacks only made him stronger both mentally and physically as he went on to make the country proud in various combat sports.
So, what is sambo?
SAMBO is a martial arts and combat sport developed and used by the Soviet Red Army in the 1920s to improve their hand-to-hand combat abilities.
The sport is similar to judo and jujutsu but also incorporates different types of wrestling and various self-defence routines.
Sambo means self-defence without weapons.
Soviet martial arts experts Vasili Oshchepkov, Viktor Spiridonov and Anatoly Kharlampley are the founding fathers of sambo.
It was recognised as an official sport by the USSR All-Union Sports Committee in 1938.
Fifty years after its introduction, the International Sambo Federation (FIAS) were officially registered and had the sole right to promote and develop the sport worldwide and organise official events.
Sambo will be making its Sea Games debut at the Philippines edition on Nov 30-Dec 11.
Hosts Philippines are the red-hot favourites following their success of winning five gold medals at the Southeast Asian Sambo Championships in Indonesia recently.