Interview with Eddie Ng from Evolve MMA

Eddie Ng, the newest member of the Evolve Fight Team

Eddie Ng from Hong Kong is the latest hot MMA prospect to accept a highly sought after and coveted invitation to join the Evolve Fight Team, Asia's most decorated professional fight team. The Evolve Fight Team has World Champions in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, MMA, Boxing, and No Gi Grappling. The Evolve Fight Team receives hundreds of applications a year and only invites 2-3 fighters per year to join the team. For 2011 so far, the two newest members of the team are DREAM FC Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki from Japan and Total Combat FC Champion Eddie Ng from Hong Kong.

The leader of the Evolve Fight Team, Chatri Sityodtong, says, "As a fighter, Eddie is already, without a doubt, the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter from Hong Kong and China. As part of my job as the leader of the Evolve Fight Team, I scour the globe for talent every day. Quite frankly, Eddie is one of the best MMA prospects in Asia. Now that Eddie lives permanently here in Singapore, he will only skyrocket and unleash his full potential under our system. He is a very talented fighter, but is still very young in his development - that's the scary part. People are going to be shocked at how incredible this guy is going to be with Evolve in the next few years."

Here is an interview with Eddie Ng from Hong Kong.

Were you born in the UK? Whereabouts in the UK are you from?

I was born and raised in the North East of the UK. More specifically, a small town called Chester-le-Street, located between Durham and Newcastle.

Are both your parents from HK?

Yes, both my parents are from Hong Kong.

Do you have a lot of family in HK, do you visit regularly, do you speak Cantonese?
Yes, the majority of both my extended family still live in Hong Kong. I love Hong Kong. I feel a strong connection to my roots and identify a lot with my idol, Bruce Lee.

When did you start training martial arts / why?
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. I discovered a role model that was shared by people around the world but whom also had similar Hong Kong origins to myself- the late Bruce Lee.
Bruce first began his martial arts training in Wing Chun and it was no coincidence that it would also be my starting point about 12 years ago.

Is it true you taught yourself BJJ? How is that possible?
Yes that is true! When I fell in love with Jiu Jitsu after watching Royce Gracie dominate the first ever UFC event, I decided that I MUST learn to do what he done! Back then there were no BJJ schools available to me and certainly no YouTube! My parents passed on some of their huge work ethic down to me and always led me to believe that I am able to achieve in life; whatever I want to achieve. I initially learned by laying a duvet on the carpet and imitated Royce’s actions on anyone I could get my hands on!

Your three MMA fights have all been against much more experienced opponents, did you have any hesitation about taking them?
I would just like to make a small correction, I have had 4 professional MMA fights; I guess sometimes promoters forget to enter the results in databases. My pro record is 3-1. There was never any hesitation in taking any of the fights. Not only do I love challenging myself but to me, being a martial artist is about constantly improving one’s self; not just in the martial arts but in life as well. I try to maintain that today I am better (in life or martial arts) than I was yesterday but not as good as I will be tomorrow. Of course I felt capable of winning the fights but I approached them as learning tools with the opportunity to learn more in a short space of time.

How did the opportunity to train at Evolve come about?

Continuous development is absolutely critical in order to progress through the ranks. So for holidays, I 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 and so it was a natural step for me to go to Singapore for a training holiday. Also, as a fighter, we all have certain strengths and weaknesses; we have to give priority on which areas of the game to develop. For me, I made my Muay Thai a priority, I have searched and been across academies around the world and none come remotely close to Evolve for the amount of talent all under one roof! Why go somewhere with 1-2 Muay Thai champions when you can go to Evolve that has 15+ Muay Thai champions?! For whatever reason, I hit it off well with everyone at Evolve on a personal level and during training. One day, the CEO of Evolve MMA, Chatri Sityodtong, invited me out to coffee before training and offered me a position on the Evolve Fight Team. The rest is history as they say!

Eddie Ng from Evolve MMA
How excited are you to be returning to your Asian roots?
From cases of bullying and racism in my younger days, I actually ended up feeling resentment for my Asian roots. Not only until more recent times did I begin to accept them, now I am very proud of my roots and extremely excited to return to them.

Do you follow the MMA scene in HK? How proud are you to be representing HK in Asia's biggest MMA show, ONE Fighting Championship?
I do follow MMA in Hong Kong. It's still a young sport in Hong Kong. The level is still 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!

How have you found training at Evolve MMA and how much do you think you will improve as a fighter now you are based there?
It's the best training I have ever seen anywhere in the world. The training at Evolve has been a very humbling experience to say the least! I am literally surrounded by World Champions everywhere! When you are in the presence of so much talent, there is literally no space for ego. In the past I aimed to improve by at least 1% a day, at Evolve I am improving at least 1% every session, I do 2-3 sessions a day, I will leave the maths up to you! Evolve is literally the best academy that I have ever trained at - everyone is a world champion, the facilities are enormous, classes run all day long, the Evolve Fight Team is unbelievable...I could go on and on. I'm just honored and deeply appreciative of the opportunity to be a part of this amazing championship team.

You have gone from living in the North East of England to the South East of Asia, that's a big adjustment, how are you finding it?
My parents stayed true to their roots inside the household and of course living in the UK, I feel as though I have been able to experience both ways of living. I have my new friends/family at Evolve and apart from the weather and amazing food, the adjustment has been easy!

Is getting to fight in front of 12,000 people in Singapore a dream come true? How do you feel about knowing the show will be broadcast all over Asia, does that make you nervous?
If nervous and excited share the same meaning, then yes 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!

You've fought for a few shows in the UK but have you ever experienced anything like One FC before, with packed out press conference and the mainstream media coverage etc?
I couldn't believe it. 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 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! I have seen more TV commercials, posters, advertisements on taxi’s and cinemas for One FC than I have for even the UFC events in the UK!

Do you have a message for your fans in Hong Kong?
I’m currently trying to improve my Cantonese as a means of being able to communicate with my fans on a much more personal level so forgive me if my pronunciation is slightly wrong! Thank you for accepting and allowing me to represent Hong Kong on Asia's biggest stage.

What do your friends and family think of you leaving the UK to become a superstar in Asia, have they been supportive? Are you sad to leave them behind?
Yes, the majority of people have been extremely supportive. Of course there have been a few “anchors” whom just try to weigh me down but that is how I know who my true friends are. I feel as though I will be able to connect with my parents on a much deeper level as they moved from Asia to the UK and I am just copying them so to speak. Even though I am sad to leave everyone behind, I am happy as I know they are genuinely happy for me.

How would you describe your style as a fighter? Are your fights entertaining?
All the hard work is done in the training camp leading up to the fight. As a reward for all the hard work I put myself through, I allow myself to have fun and ultimately put on a show when it is time to fight! I would consider myself to be a “pretty” fighter, meaning as well as putting on an entertaining show with wacky entrances, strange music and anime cosplay! I want to win while showcasing beautiful technique, maybe even with the occasional unorthodox technique inspired by fellow Evolve Fight Team member- Shinya Aoki!

Evolve Mixed Martial Arts® is Asia's premier brand of MMA academies. With World Champions in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, and No Gi Grappling, Evolve MMA is the top martial arts training organization in Asia. It ranks among the best martial arts academies in the world.