Jeff Huang walked away from a lucrative job as an investment banker to pursue his MMA dreams. The Taiwanese welterweight will take another significant step on his journey as a martial artist when he faces Zuli Silawanto at ONE FC: Battle of Lions on Friday.
Huang holds a 4-1 record and made a ONE FC debut in his native Taiwan earlier this year with a win over an Indian opponent, but believes that this fight at the Singapore Indoor Stadium represents an opportunity to take his career to a completely new level.
“Fighting in Singapore is like a big chance for me to prove myself because Singapore is the motherland of ONE FC and also a much more mature MMA market than Taiwan, so I believe there will be lots more attention and lots more people will watch the event.”
Huang starred at ONE FC’s inaugural event in Taiwan earlier this year, which was a success in terms of both the turnout, a 4,200-seat sellout at the NTU Sports Centre, and the performance of the local fighters, who all registered wins.
The ranks of ONE FC’s welterweight division have been swelled by the arrival of Ben Askren, as well as a host of high-level fighters like Bakhtar Abbiyasov, Aung La Nsang, and Luis Santos, but Huang says he is excited by the prospect of testing himself against some of the top 170-pounders in the region.
“It’s really awesome if I have a chance to fight some top welterweights around the world. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to fight for a big event like ONE FC. MMA is my passion and I want to test myself against high-level fighters to see how good and how tough I am. I could just stay in a small pond and pretend I am the king, but that’s not the reason I chose to be a fighter.”
ONE FC is set to move into the Chinese market in a big way with a Beijing show booked for Dec. 19 and an event in Taipei is already in the books. Huang beat Indian Bala Shetty on that card and says it was a major milestone in his fighting career.
“It was a dream come true and I hope I will have more chances to fight in this great promotion. It was a special moment in my life and the coming of ONE FC is a huge and positive impact for Taiwan because this is the first time the mainstream crowd can see world class MMA event here and people changed their thinking about the sport after this event.”
Huang has spent time training at camps in both Brazil and the U.S. and is well travelled as a mixed martial artist, but recently made the decision to relocate to Thailand.