Eddie Ng is set to return to the cage at ONE: Pride of Lions, and he has been handed another tough assignment. The Hong Konger revealed exclusively to MMAWeekly.com that he will be taking on former 155-pound title challenger Kamal Shalorus at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Nov. 13.
It’s a match-up that was initially scheduled for May 2014, but Shalorus was forced to pull out due to injury. That means the fight has been more than a year in the making and Ng is excited to be fighting an opponent who is a veteran of both WEC and the UFC.
“I am very happy that the fight has been put together again. Kamal has been in the cage with some of the best fighters in the world and is a stern test for anyone. I am excited to take on this challenge.”
After winning his first four ONE Championship fights, Ng is currently coming off back-to-back defeats. His record for the promotion still stands at a very respectable 4-2, but he has witnessed a noticeable improvement in terms of the quality of the roster.
“This is a testament to the growth of ONE Championship over the last few years. As ONE Championship has grown in size and popularity, the roster has also shown huge growth. As the largest MMA organization in Asia, there are no easy rides in ONE Championship, all fighters on the roster are dangerous.”
In his last outing, Ng took on BJJ black Ariel Sexton. He was submitted in the second round, but not before breaking the Costa Rican’s arm with a body kick in the first minute of the fight. The 29-year-old said he didn’t realize until afterwards just how much damage he had done.
“I knew that I had hurt Ariel before throwing the kick, but I didn’t know about Ariel’s arm actually being broken until after the fight. He’s as tough as old boots.”
Sexton was actually somewhat unfortunate to drop a decision loss to Shalorus in a fight many felt the Costa Rican should have won. However, they represent very different types of challenge for Ng, who knows exactly what his Iranian opponent will bring to the table.
“This will be the first time that I have fought against someone that has such a strong wrestling pedigree as Kamal. However, I don’t focus on this too much because Kamal is an MMA veteran. I know that he is much more than just a wrestler.”
It doesn’t take an expert MMA analyst to realize that takedown defense will be vital for Ng, and he says he has been covering all his bases in training.
“At Evolve MMA, I work on a daily basis with some of the best coaches and teammates in the world. Heath Sims is a former U.S. Olympian in Greco Roman wrestling. Jake Butler is an NCAA Division 1 freestyle wrestler and fellow ONE Championship competitor. They have been helping me prepare for the wrestling aspect of Kamal’s game.”
Ng will presumably want to prevent the Iranian from putting him on his back, but if he does end up on the ground with Shalorus, he’s confident that he has the tools to survive and possibly even score a submission win of his own.
“For my BJJ, I work a lot with UFC fighter Leandro ‘Brodinho’ Issa, as well as ONE Championship fighter Bruno Pucci. They are both BJJ world champions that have made the transition into MMA. Look out for Bruno Pucci’s return to ONE Championship soon, the guy has overcame some serious injuries and epitomizes the warrior mentality.”
Ng has a reputation as being a well-rounded fighter and has competed in both Muay Thai and BJJ. He started out teaching himself how to grapple by watching instructional videos in his bedroom and has been a keen student of the fight game since his school days. One of the perks of being a full-time professional fighter at Evolve MMA is that he now gets to train under the watchful eye of some of the people he grew up watching on YouTube.
“As a young martial arts enthusiast, I idolized multiple Muay Thai World Champion Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn. His technique, elegance, composure and intelligence inside the ring leave me in awe. I am incredibly grateful to be able to call this Muay Thai legend my Muay Thai coach.”
Coming off back-to-back defeats could potentially put Ng under a lot of pressure as he prepares to face off against Shalorus. No one wants to lose three in a row, but the Hong Konger says that is not something that will affect him on Nov. 13.
“The only pressure I feel before a fight is the pressure to perform to the best of my ability. Win or lose is not as important to me as being able to express myself in the cage to the best of my ability.”
Ng is known for his cerebral approach to the fight game. He takes everything in his stride and this has helped to make him extremely popular both with fight fans in Singapore and the students he coaches at Evolve MMA. He’s more prone to engaging in philosophical musings than trash talk and says he’s just happy to be living a martial arts lifestyle.
“I have learnt to accept winning and losing as part of an amazing journey that not everyone in the world will be able to relate to. Martial arts has taken me on a crazy path around the world. I’ve managed to make some lifelong friends and a career out of it. Martial arts is my biggest passion. I may have lost in sport, but certainly not in life. Win or lose, I am living a life that I never thought I would be living.”
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