Ng lives by former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt’s philosophy of ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’ because inside and outside of the cage, he’s as quiet as a church mouse, but when the fists start flying his bite is as fierce as a lion.
Check out this exclusive one-on-one interview with Eddie Ng following his win over Jian Kai Chee at One FC 3: War of the Lions.
You are very softly spoken and humble outside of the cage but you might be the most aggressive fighter on the entire One FC roster. How do you reconcile those two sides to your personality?
I don’t think of it as having two sides to my personality. The person outside the cage is who I am, it’s just that once I enter the cage, I am able to switch off. I have no thoughts or emotion left in my body, I believe that these things can interfere with performance. Thinking too much in a fight means you are already too late and have missed that opportunity. Fighting with too much emotion is like pulling wool over your eyes, you become blind and reckless.
When I switch off, I don’t have any outside interference, my body reacts solely to the training in martial arts that it has received and I have 100% faith in my coaches at Evolve MMA and what they have taught me. I switch off and just allow my body to in the words of Bruce Lee, “Express oneself.”
You had a lot of supporters in the crowd and I saw you were surrounded by people asking for autographs after your fight, how much does that mean to you?
It is very flattering to be noticed by fans whom ask for autographs or photos. I’m a quiet and low key type person and the whole process is still very new to me. I see how happy people are when they take photos with me etc but the truth is, it probably makes me more happy than it does them. I’m one of those people that loves doing things that bring smiles to other peoples faces.
I heard that your Muay Thai had improved rapidly and you dropped him with a hook before you finished him, do you feel more confident in your stand up now?
I am very comfortable in my stand up and that is attributed to the coaching that I am receiving on a daily basis at Evolve MMA. Every day I train with Muay Thai World Champions such as Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn, Attachai Fairtex, Orono Wor Petchpun. They refine/teach me new technique every day and have totally transformed my stand up game. I compete in professional Muay Thai fights in Thailand to further improve my stand up, the extra ring time has really helped me learn to relax and become more confident in my skills.
You seemed to have a deep guillotine but you let it go and chose to finish the fight with ground and pound, was that the game plan?
I spend a lot of time training with my teammate and Dream FC Champion Shinya Aoki, he has really helped me with my MMA game. He helps me work the transitional stages between stand up, takedowns and grappling that is often overlooked.
Kai had a hold of my hand when I had the guillotine, for the worry that he may be able to hand fight, stand back up and recover from the situation that he was in, I let go and maintained top position instead. Even if the fight didn’t end then, I would be in much better position on top in mount than standing back up again.
That is the second fight in a row which you have finished by ground and pound, how important a weapon do you think that is in your arsenal?
My MMA coach and former US Olympian Heath Sims has taught me a lot about Ground and Pound. Heath and Shinya have different Ground and Pound styles but they are both extremely effective. Ground and Pound is a huge weapon in MMA and I feel like I am beginning to appreciate the art form in it. To new fans it can be difficult to understand how striking an opponent underneath you is challenging but there is a definite science involved in it.
You have fought twice in the Singapore Indoor Stadium now, are you starting to feel at home there?
Yes, I feel at ease at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The 1st time was nerve wracking as I didn’t know what to expect but the 2nd time around I was extremely comfortable with my surroundings.
Since One FC was founded have you noticed an increase in the number of people in Singapore interested in MMA and talking about MMA?
Yes for sure! Many times I have heard people talking about MMA on MRT’s and Buses! I have gradually seen more and more people sporting MMA apparel in Singapore than when I first came here. One FC has really brought the sport of MMA into the public eye and I have no doubt that as One FC grows, the popularity of MMA will also continue to grow here in Singapore.
Kai is a Muay Thai champion but you clearly out struck him in this fight, how pleased were you about that?
I will get the credit for my performance on that night when in reality, all credit should go to my coaches and my training prior to the fight. I am a product of my training and my coaches, I just perform what I have been taught. If I did not have such world class coaches, then this question would be very different! I was pleased that I was able to show off the time that all my coaches invested in me and my training before hand.
Can you tell us a little bit about your training schedule and who you train with?
I train at a minimum of twice a day, 5 days a week at the Evolve Fighters Program. I have a morning session that focuses on MMA, Wrestling, Grappling with the Evolve Fight Team. Heath Sims overlooks our training and gives us input based on the countless experience in MMA that he has accumulated over the years being UFC competitor Dan Henderson’s ex coach.
I then train in the afteroon which focuses on striking, this is where each member of the Evolve Fight Team works one-on-one with the Muay Thai World Champions. We have the undivided attention of a world champion instructor for the training session and they coach us through pad work, bag work, sparring etc. My main coach is Attachai Fairtex but I also work often with Orono Wor Petchpun, Muangfalek Kiatvichian, Chaowalith Jockey Gym and Yoddecha Sityodtong.
You have never been into the second round. Would you like to fight for a bit longer or are you happy to be finishing fights fast?
Some of my amateur/semi pro fights have went to decision and I have actually went into the 2nd round in one of my professional fights but for some reason the information on databases does not show that.
Of course finishing fights fast is good but going the distance is actually very important in the development of a fighter. You gain a lot more ring time and experience when a fight goes to the decision and you have more opportunity to learn from the fight regardless if you win or lose.
Training camp for fights at Evolve MMA are very intense and all the coaches prepare us to the best of their ability for all situations that can occur in a fight, this includes the cardio and conditioning to fight the distance.
You didn’t seem to sustain any damage in your fight, will you take a bit of a break afterwards or are you going straight back to training?
Even though it may seem like no damage was received, it is still very important that I take few days rest to allow my body to recover from the stress that had accumulated over the duration of the training camp. This is also an important time to allow myself to mentally relax and de-stress. Training for fights is just as tiring mentally as it is physically and I find the down time prevents the mind from becoming “burnt out” from training.
By nature I am a very active person so I can’t see myself taking too many days off before I return back to training! Also knowing that there are other fighters out there that want to become the best in my weight division really motivates me to get back to training and keep on improving!