Eddie Ng’s first two ONE FC fights both lasted for less than 45 seconds, but he has had to endure a frustrating 12-month wait to step into the cage and compete for Asia’s biggest MMA promotion a third time.
A shoulder injury last May saw the 26-year-old sidelined for the best part of a year and unable to make the most of the momentum he had built up with two quick-fire stoppage wins which showcased both his athleticism and explosiveness.
Regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in the region, the Hong Kong native is now based in Singapore as a member of the Evolve MMA Fight Team. He is set to make his comeback on April 5 at ONE FC: Kings & Champions, which will be televised live all over Asia by Star Sports, as well as by MyTV in Cambodia.
Ng says he is fully fit and looking forward to facing the charismatic Frenchman Arnaud Lepont, whom he had originally been set to face at ONE FC: Destiny of Warriors last June.
“I have been out for a long time and the journey back to fitness has been a long one but I am a hundred per cent healthy again. If I wasn’t I would not be fighting,” said Ng.
“What a lot of people don’t realise is that recovery from injury is as much mental as physical. Sometimes a fighter will be afraid to perform certain movements, but I am confident I am ready to train and fight to my full potential.”
The fight with Lepont will be taking place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, which has been the venue for both of Ng’s previous bouts. The first one, against Yuan Chun Bo, lasted just 45 seconds as he took the Chinese fighter down and knocked him out with some vicious punches.
Ng showed off his brutal streak again when he faced Jian Kai Chee, dropping him with a left hook, straight right hand combination and then unleashing a barrage of blows on the Malaysian that gave the referee no option but to step in at the 43-second mark.
The aggression which Ng shows inside the fights is in stark contrast to his softly spoken persona outside of the cage and he says he enjoys defying stereotypes with his success as a fighter.
“How I am in the cage is just a reflection of my training. At Evolve MMA I have the best coaches and training partners in the world and my preparation for fights is always intense so when the bell sounds, what you are seeing is my martial arts instincts. Just because you are a fighter does not mean that you are a violent person in real life.”
Although his parents both hail from Hong Kong, they moved to England where Ng grew up and found himself the victim of playground taunts and bullying due to his Asian appearance. As a child he admits to sometimes wishing he was white but that all changed when he first saw a Bruce Lee movie.
“Bruce Lee challenged the way that Asians were portrayed in film and throughout the world and he will forever be an icon for Chinese people as he was the first person to empower us all. At that time, I thought that if I learned martial arts then I could be more like Bruce Lee and then maybe all the bullying and racism would stop, but I never dreamed it would become my career.”
Ng started out teaching himself martial arts alone at home using mail-order videos and practicing moves on a pillow. He went on to win three of his first four professional fights and began to scour the globe in search of the best training opportunities.
In 2011, that quest took him to Singapore where he wanted to train with the team of Muay Thai world champions and BJJ black belts at Evolve MMA. Ng made such a good impression during his time there that he was immediately invited to become a full time member of the fight team, an offer he says he had no hesitation in accepting.
“It was a dream come true for me to be able to train every day with some of the best trainers and training partners in the world and to live and fight in Asia. I started out by teaching myself but the only way you can be the best is by learning from the best and I am lucky that I get to do that every day at Evolve MMA.”
Ng’s record now stands at 5-1, meaning he is less experienced than Lepont, who is 9-2. It is a fight which has been almost a year in the making and the Hong Kong-Chinese fighter has no doubt that it will be worth the wait.
“Stylistically, this is a very good match-up because Arnaud Lepont is a very aggressive fighter and that should make for the sort of fight which people will remember for a long time. I believe it will be ‘fight of the night’ and I can’t wait to be back in the cage in front of 12,000 fans in Singapore again,” added Ng.