Have you ever read the sales pitch of one of those luxurious island getaways and thought, “Yeah, right”? Or perhaps you’ve stayed in a hotel that on paper made it sound like your room was going to be a penthouse suite, when in actuality it turned out to be a shoebox? At some point in our lives, we all come across a deal that seems too good to be true.

Usually they really are too good to be true, but that’s not always the case.

Eddie Ng was in absolute disbelief when he heard about Evolve MMA. When he visited the gym for the first time, something stuck with him: dreams really do come true.

Ng (R) (ONE FC)

“I’d been looking at places to visit to train and to improve my Muay Thai, and I found out about Evolve. I saw the list of guys that were a part of the team and they had all these high-level [Muay] Thai fighters and champions listed as being there. I saw it and I thought that there was no way that a place like that could even exist [laughs]. I had to go and check it out to make sure this place was real,” Ng, who faces Peter Davis at ONE FC 11 on Oct. 18 in Singapore, explained in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner.

“Sure enough, it was real and it was just amazing. I was asked by Chatri Sityodtong to move over there and stay, and I honestly thought that it was a joke. I couldn’t believe this guy who had only known me for like two hours was giving me this opportunity.”

Ng’s journey into becoming a professional fighter wasn’t exactly a conventional one. He didn’t transition from another sport, and he didn’t have any real notable athletic experience to speak of. Instead, it’s a story of being both inspired and empowered at an earlier age.

“It sounds like a bit of a clichéd story,” he laughed. “It was actually through watching Enter The Dragon and seeing Bruce Lee. It was hard for me growing up where I did with me being Chinese, because there weren’t many other Chinese people and I got bullied a lot growing up. It sounds bad, but it actually made me ashamed of being Chinese, and that wasn’t a healthy feeling at all. People would look at what Bruce Lee was doing and they’d get really excited about it. So after I started watching him in martial arts, people kind of started talking to me about that.

“The main reason I actually [started] fight was because my so-called friends at the time were always telling me that I wouldn’t be able to do anything with the training that I was doing, and they would just make fun of me. They would all be out drinking and partying, because they were young, and I was just focused on learning martial arts. And eventually the opportunity came to take a fight, and I really wanted to prove everybody wrong.”

In order to quench his thirst for more martial arts knowledge, Ng went the extra mile to get access to content that wasn’t readily available in his home country. The UFC had hardly broken mainstream barriers yet, and being able to watch fights was a hard-earned luxury.

Ng (L) applies an armbar (ONE FC)

“Back then, we didn’t really have access to fight videos like we do now. Even if you had the Internet, it would mostly be dial-up and things like YouTube weren’t around,” he said. “So I would save up all of my lunch money and I would buy these videos and wait for them to get sent from the U.S. I would save all this money to feed my curiosity for martial arts and just keep practicing techniques on my younger brother as I would see them on TV. I would want to see how things worked and how different techniques played out, so it was the best practice I could get since there weren’t really any formal places I could train jiu-jitsu.”

Out of Ng’s six professional wins, none have gone the distance, and he is yet to see the third round of a fight. Fans love to see fights finished, and it’s certainly something that fighters are always looking for from the second that opening bell sounds.

“It’s definitely something that I am proud of, and it’s something I always say—that I don’t want to leave any doubt about who should have won the fight. It shows that there was a decisive winner in the fight when you get the finish” he said. “Sometimes you can see a decision, and people can look at the fight and think that the other fighter won or whatever. I don’t want that to ever happen to me, and I want to show that I am in there to win.”

The individual aspect of mixed martial arts attracts some athletes to the sport. When you lose, there is nobody to blame but yourself. Ng sees the sport in a bit of a different light, though, and he is very much appreciative of the people that he has around him.

“MMA is very much a team sport,” he exclaimed. “Yeah, it’s only one guy in the cage that fights, but without the team behind them and without that support, they really are nothing. And I am incredibly grateful to be a part of an amazing team here at Evolve.”

Coming across Evolve MMA, something that he never thought could have existed, led Ng to continue to build on his skill set as a mixed martial artist. At the time, it may have seemed like the place that he now calls home was too good to be true, but the truth is that he happened upon something special. It’s not too often that someone can experience something that is, in their eyes, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but that’s exactly what Ng has. He wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Eddie would like to thank Evolve MMA. Follow Ng on Twitter: @Eddie_Magician

Top Photo: Eddie Ng (top) batters his opponent (ONE FC)