Eddie Ng is one of the fastest rising lightweight stars on the Asian mixed martial arts scene. He made an immediate impact upon his arrival to One FC, finishing his first two opponents.
He returns to the cage at One FC 8, squaring up with French fighter Arnaud Lepont on April 5 in Singapore.
Ng recently took a few minutes out of his busy training schedule to answer a few questions with MMAWeekly.com.
MMAWeekly.com: Being Chinese, but living in England, you were a victim of bullying growing up. How did that shape who you are today?
Eddie Ng: Growing up I experienced name calling and teasing about being Chinese on an almost daily basis. I was shoved and hit by older kids and even experienced people spitting in my face! Strangely enough, no matter how difficult it was growing up, I am thankful for each experience and I would not change it even if I was given the ability to go back in time and do so.
Past experiences, whether they are good or bad, they have all helped to shape us as the individuals that we are right now in this moment of time. Without experiencing bullying and racism, I don’t think that I would have found so much solace when I watched Bruce Lee’s movie “Way of The Dragon.” Bruce Lee was an incredible Martial Artist and that is what people saw when they watched his movies, not that he was Chinese. That was ultimately what inspired me to learn Martial Arts, not for self-defense against bullies, but because I felt that if I studied Martial Arts, then maybe people would respect me just like they did with Bruce Lee and the bullying would eventually stop.
Looking back I also know that I made several mistakes with the way that I dealt with the bullying/racism and I can use my past mistakes to help those that are in a similar situation today because unfortunately bullying and racism still exist today.
MMAWekly.com: You have been out of action for over a year. How is the shoulder now?
Eddie Ng: My shoulder now is just like it was before the injury. The road to recovery was long and more mentally challenging than physical. Physical recovery was just a matter of showing up to my physical therapy and performing the exercises and workouts that he prescribed. Mentally was much more difficult. I returned to training after five months of solid rehab. I was initially very scared to perform any techniques that involved the use of my shoulder.
My coaches and teammates at Evolve MMA played a crucial role in me overcoming that mental barrier, they never rushed me back to training and when I did, they were very patient working with me and around my concerns.
MMAWeekly.com: Are you worried at all about ring rust heading into this fight?
Eddie Ng: In the past, I have been used to fighting with a year in between fights, so although ring rust is a legitimate concern, I do not think it will affect me much as it has been the “normal” for me to fight with a long break in between fights. Now if I was a fighter that was used to competing every few months, then for sure ring rust would have been on the back of my mind somewhere.
MMAWeekly.com: You’re fighting Arnaud Lepont, a Frenchman with a 9-2 record. What do you know about your opponent?
Eddie Ng: I have seen Arnaud fight comfortably both on his feet and on the ground. He is a well-rounded fighter with solid all-round skills, however, I think it is his attitude that he brings to each fight that poses the biggest threat. Arnaud has a “never say die” attitude and has shown in previous fights that is more than capable of finishing the fight up until the last minute of the final round, in a fight that he is losing.
If there is any small mistake, Arnaud will jump all over it. I must make sure that I never let my guard down throughout the entire fight because it only takes one small slip up with him to make it a bad night for me.
MMAWeekly.com: Shinya Aoki fights for the title on the card. How much of an advantage is it to have someone in your training camp that is fighting on the same card in the same weight class to work with for a fight?
Eddie Ng: Having a fighter in the same weight class share the same card as you is a good little bonus, but I honestly don’t feel it has been that important. I say this because of my coaches and teammates on the Evolve Fight Team.
Regardless of whether any of us have a fight or not, the Evolve Fight Team are training together on a daily basis two times a day, five days a week. Training in the off season when there is no scheduled fight is how you improve yourself as a fighter and expand on your skill set. Only training for a fight may get you fit for the fight, but it is difficult to learn new techniques and go into the fight with new tools added to the tool box. Fighting without actually improving can only get you so far in MMA. In order to continually progress in MMA, it is crucial to always upgrade your skills and constantly strive to be a better version of yourself.
MMAWeekly.com: All of your wins have come in the first round and your last three opponents were finished in less than a minute. How much of your skill set have you not been able to show?
Eddie Ng: I joined Evolve MMA in August 2011. I train daily with Muay Thai, boxing, MMA, wrestling and BJJ World Champions such as Shinya Aoki, Rafael Dos Anjos, Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn, Heath Sims, etc. I know that my skill set has improved exponentially by training with the best coaches and teammates in the world.
My last few fights have ended quickly and I do have mixed feelings about it. On one side of the spectrum, fighters do not get to see what my other skill set is like, so it makes it more difficult for future opponents to plan the correct strategy against me. On the other side, I feel that ring time and experience is very important to a fighter and finishing fights quickly just does not allow for that opportunity.
MMAWeekly.com: You’ve enjoyed a quick rise in popularity, has becoming a bit of a celebrity changed you at all?
Eddie Ng: I honestly do not consider myself as a celebrity of any sort. Maybe my image has changed in the eyes of others with me doing more media interviews, photo shoots, etc. But I know who I am and I know that I will always stay truthful to my character. I will always be the same shy person that watches anime, plays video games and loves to eat!
MMAWeekly.com: Do you have a prediction for the fight?
Eddie Ng: Win, lose or draw, this is going to be one of the most exciting fights in ONE Fighting Championship history!