Eddie Ng: The Chester Le St lad who is set to become an MMA superstar in Asia
People in MMA circles are familiar with Eddie NG, a promising young fighter from the North East with a 3-1 professional record, but he is not yet a household name in the UK. Mixed martial arts has undergone an explosion in recent years and Ng is just one of hundreds of young men who aspire to fight for the biggest promotions on the planet, albeit one with supposedly prodigious potential.
Ng, whose parents are both from Hong Kong, is going to realize his ambition sooner than he would have dared to dream after a training trip to Singapore resulted in an offer to not only join one of the top fight teams on the planet but to compete for the biggest MMA show in Asia,
“My idea of a holiday is to try to find the best academies in the world to visit and to train. Evolve MMA has a big reputation globally for having the most number of world champions under one roof and so it was a natural step for me to go to Singapore for a training trip. I hit it off well with everyone at Evolve on a personal level and during training. The CEO of Evolve MMA, Chatri Sityodtong, invited me out to coffee one day before training and offered me a position on the Evolve Fight Team,” he said.
Evolve MMA is widely regarded as the top training facility in Asia but the timing of Ng’s trip was also auspicious because the most ambitious promotion in MMA history was launched in Singapore only last week. ONE Fighting Championship will be Asia’s biggest MMA event and is looking to showcase top Asian talent on its shows which will be broadcast all over Asia to a potential viewing audience of 500 million.
Ng’s Hong Kong heritage makes him extremely appealing to the promoter who is hell bent on signing up the best fighters in the region and wasted no time in adding him to the card for the inaugural event on September 3rd. Although Ng has fought against some tough, experienced opponents in his career he has never been involved in anything on the scale of ONE Fighting Championshiop,
“The ONE FC press conference was jam packed with hundreds of people and cameras flashing everywhere. I have been to shows all around the UK and have never experienced anything quite like it. Some of the top UK shows do have press conferences but unlike One FC’s you can always find a seat to sit on. The amount of media coverage on One FC is unheard of and I have seen more TV commercials, posters, advertisements on taxis and cinemas for One FC than I have for even the UFC events in the UK!” he said.
Ng will make his ONE FC debut at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, the biggest indoor venue in all of South East Asia. It will be an incredible experience for a fighter whose previous experience is of fighting in obscure night clubs or small conference centres such as the Lancastrian Suite in Gateshead,
“If nervous and excited share the same meaning then I am very nervous. Fighting in front of 12,000 people and being able to represent Hong Kong? Wow. Fighting in front of 12,000 people, representing Hong Kong, 500 million viewers across Asia AND sharing a card with so many talented fighters? There you go, that’s my dream, so yes, I’m living my dream!” he said.
Amongst the fighters who will be sharing a card with Ng are two MMA legends. Phil Baroni is a UFC, Pride and Strikeforce veteran and one of the most recognizable figures in the sport. He will be up against one of Japan’s top fighters in Yoshiyuki Yoshida, another UFC veteran with a global reputation. Ng will also be rubbing shoulders with some local heros such as long term Thailand resident Ole Laursen, Filipino Eduard Folayang and Singapore’s adopted son Mitch Chilson. These three fighters got an enormous cheer when they were introduced to the crowd at the press conference and if Ng can win a few fights, preferably in spectacular style, he could soon gain a similar following.
The Evolve fight team is regarded as the best in Asia because it contains UFC veteran Rafael Dos Anjos, Dream lightweight champion Shinya Aoki and a vast number of world champions in both BJJ and Muay Thai. Training with this calibre of fighter can only enhance Ng’s MMA credentials but it is a far cry from his humble beginnings as a martial artist,
“I actually taught myself Jiu Jitsu which I fell in love with after watching Royce Gracie dominate the first ever UFC event. I decided that I must learn to do what he had done but back then there were no BJJ schools available to me and certainly no YouTube. I initially learned by laying a duvet on the carpet and imitated Royce’s actions on anyone I could get my hands on,” he said.
Royce Gracie was one of the founding figures of mixed martial arts but Ng’s real hero is someone who you don’t need to be a fan of the world’s fastest growing sport to have heard of,
“As a young Asian male growing up in the UK, I was always going to be the minority and so naturally experienced bullying and racism. My idol was Bruce Lee because he was a role model known all around the world who also had similar Hong Kong origins to myself. Bruce first began his martial arts training in Wing Chun and that was also be my starting point about 12 years ago,” he said.
Despite being born in the UK Ng has never forgotten his Asian roots and training at Evolve MMA and fighting for ONE FIghting Championship will give him the chance to represent his ancestral home on the international stage. Awareness of MMA is growing in the former British colony but Ng is undeniably Hong Kong’s number one fighter as of now and ONE Fighting Championship plan to put on a show in Hong Kong which Ng is almost certain to headline,
“I do follow MMA in Hong Kong where it is still a young sport and the level is quite low relative to the US or Europe. Representing Hong Kong on the biggest MMA stage not only for myself, but for Hong Kong MMA as a whole is something that I carry with great pride. To say I am proud would be a huge understatement!” he said.
If Ng is living his dream it is certainly not due to luck. His natural ability has impressed many in the UK as well as persuading Evolve MMA to offer him a coveted spot on their fight team. Every year thousands of people apply and the only other person to have been added to the Evolve roster this year was Aoki who is pound for pound the best Asian mixed martial artist on the planet at present.
The man who taught himself by practising moves on a duvet will be getting one on one instruction from the likes of BJJ world champions Leandro Issa and Zorobabel Moreira Jnr and Muay Thai world champions legends Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn, Anuwat Kaesamrit and Orono Wor Petchpun. Royce Gracie’s cousin, Renzo, will also be in Singapore to help the fighters prepare for ONE Fighting Championship and Ng’s potential for improvement at Evolve MMA is exponential.
Ng was once bullied because of his oriental appearance but his Asian roots have helped propel him to a shot at a show which could be witnessed by an astonishing 500 million people. Although he will no longer be representing England no-one on the North East scene from which he emerged will begrudge Ng his new found fame and people in Hong Kong will be only too happy to discover they have a world class mixed martial artist representing them.
ONE Fighting Championship will be broadcast in Singapore by Media Corp and all over Asia by ESPN Star Sports. There are also plans to stream the show live on the internet. For more information visit: www.onefc.com.Tagged in: eddie ng, evolve mma, mixed martial arts, MMA, One fighting championship, singapore
Recent Posts on Sport
- Ibet: Galatasary and Chelsea: Game Could Be Tight In Turkey
- Ibet: Newcastle struggling to cope with loss of Yohan Cabaye
- Time for Manchester City to step up to the plate
- The Football Lawyer: Once Brazilian players prove their European ancestry, it's still not easy for them to settle
- iBet: Manchester City Predicted To Set A New Goals Record
Latest from Independent journalists on Twitter