Eddie Ng, Hong Kong's top MMA fighter, recently won gold at the Mundials after just teaching himself BJJ from instructional videos and books.
The MMA scene in Hong Kong is starting to develop, with Legend FC starting the charge by running several quality shows in the region. In what is considered as a coup by some insiders, Eddie Ng, one of the brightest prospects representing Hong Kong, has been picked up by One FC, a promotion looking to dominate not just the country's regional circuit, but the entire MMA scene in Asia.
is already one of the most popular fighters from Hong Kong, making him a potential headliner for future shows in the country. Although he only has 4 professional fights, what makes him such a coveted prospect in the region, is that he has already faced and defeated some very experienced fighters from Europe.
Ironically, having success at an early stage of his career even made it harder to book fights for him at the time.
"I found it difficult to get match ups when I was living in the UK." Eddie Ng said in an interview with BloodyElbow.com, "I defeated 2 highly rated and much more experienced fighters for my first 2 professional bouts, it made it difficult in that the top guys didn't want to risk losing to someone that was 2-0 then on the other side, similarly experienced guys didn't want to fight as they felt outmatched."
Ng, who was raised in the UK, won the Total Combat welterweight title and has displayed a very dangerous ground game as well. What makes it even more impressive though, is that he accomplished all this by just being self-taught in BJJ.
"I initially learned from actually imitating positions that I saw from what Rickson and Royce Gracie used in their fights," he explained, "The progression after that was actually through text. I used to stay back after school to use the computers and I managed to find some descriptions of techniques in text on the internet. Once I managed to save up, books and videos were the final tools that I used to learn BJJ."
"My first experience with instructional videos was the Gracie Jiu Jitsu basics set which featured Rorion and Royce Gracie."
Much like MMA legend Evan Tanner, Ng did enjoy a bit of success with just learning from videos and books, but he ultimately decided that he had to step it up and take things to the next level.
"Back then, and even to this day, I have received a lot of skepticism about being self taught." Ng said, as he talked about his progress, "As much as the path was difficult, with a lot of patience and trial and error, I felt as though as I was able to learn a lot. There are problems though, in that with no instructor, there is no one to point out any mistakes. Even though it is possible, I wouldn't advise trying to learn on your own. Instead, look to join a reputable gym especially if your serious about your training."
Heading into the biggest fight of his young career, Eddie Ng did just that. He will be dropping down to lightweight, and has now joined the ranks of Evolve MMA, an elite MMA team who has a roster stacked with multiple world champions from Muay Thai, Boxing, BJJ and MMA.
"Training at Evolve full time, representing Hong Kong in One FC is a dream that I am living right now. I have traveled around the world training and no where has so many world champions and talent all under one roof," Ng expounded, "I am not expecting to improve rapidly, I am improving rapidly! I'm not exaggerating when I say that one years worth of training at Evolve is like the equivalent of 3-4 years elsewhere."
The several world champions he's been training with have been very impressed by his development so far, and Eddie embraces this opportunity to represent his new team on One FC.
"I don't have the most experience and having people believe in me is actually very important, and it definitely means a lot to me. Just like in football, with Manchester Utd, teams will always want to beat a member of Evolve, for the simple reason that we are the best. I am ready and willing to defend our castle as often as need be."
He'll have a chance to do this against Sanda champion, Wu Chengjie, on September 3rd. He'll be fighting in front of 12,000 people in the Singapore Indoor Arena, and millions more will be watching at home. Ng says this is an opportunity he is cherishing.
"Excited isn't the word. Growing up in the UK I was bullied for being Asian, but I'm finally making up for lost time and enjoying every single second of living, training and fighting in Asia, now that I have accepted who I am! I'm training at the Number 1 academy in Asia, fighting on what has been touted as the "UFC of Asia" and the "Natural successor to Pride FC," Ng exclaimed, "How can I not be excited?! I am truly blessed!"
"I never even dared dream about pursuing a career in MMA or BJJ back then." he continued, "I just wanted to learn the techniques that I was seeing utilized in actual combat scenarios. I actually only competed for the 1st time because I was told that I was wasting my time trying to learn, and that I should be going out partying like 'normal' people do. Until you try for yourself, don't ever believe people when they tell you that can't do something."