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Kok Yufeng
Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Sports

Pro MMA fighter approaches matches with a detached attitude

The New Paper | Kok Yufeng | Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Eddie Ng, a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, preparing for training.

SINGAPORE - For a fighter a few days away from a potential fifth straight win, Mr Eddie Ng appears relaxed.

He is against top Dutch fighter Vincent Latoel in one of 10 fights organised by One Fighting Championship (One FC) to be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Friday.

Mr Ng has racked up four consecutive wins for One FC, which is regarded as the biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) organisation in Asia.

But the 28-year-old is definitely not excited about the coming match.

"If a fighter tells you he's excited before a match, he's lying," said the Singapore-based athlete.

"You start to go through all the worst-case scenarios. Every fighter does it," he added.

Born in Hong Kong, Mr Ng moved to Singapore in 2011 from Britain.

Having spent 12 years in MMA, he said experience has changed how he approaches his fights.

He said: "Yes, I'm scared, but the way I ground myself now is to think, 'You're not going to do this forever, so enjoy this moment now.'"

The 1.73m-tall fighter takes a similar approach to his own life.

As a professional MMA fighter and instructor, he has a gruelling routine.

His alarm clock goes off at 7am and by 8.15am, he is out of his Toa Payoh flat and on a kick scooter to head to the MRT station.

He starts his day with morning training at 9am at Evolve MMA's Far East Square branch, where he is based.

The two-hour morning session has a more "all-round" focus, Mr Ng said, and often involves sparring and using the cage.

He returns at 2pm for another training session which focuses on techniques from different martial arts that are often used in MMA, like muay thai and Brazilian jiujitsu.

CHILDREN'S CLASSES

Two hours later, he makes his way to another Evolve MMA's branch in PoMo mall, where he teaches children's classes.

He said: "When I lived in the UK, I faced a lot of bullying and racism and this really damaged my self-confidence. So it's rewarding to see these shy, scared kids build personality because of the classes."

Mr Ng is home by 8pm and goes to bed at about midnight.

He also teaches weekend classes.

Despite his packed schedule, he tries to keep it as flexible as possible.

He said: "I don't like to be too specific (with regard to my schedule).

"When things don't go perfectly according to plan, it can have an effect on your mood and this can affect many other things." This is a mentality he has picked up from MMA.

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