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Alain Ngalani eyeing revenge as he makes his switch to light-heavyweight

Hong Kong knockout artist is looking to challenge for a title in a new weight class



ONE Championship

Hong Kong knockout artist Alain Ngalani is using the sting of defeat to motivate him to reach new heights inside the ONE Championship cage.

And the four-time Muay Thai and kickboxing world champion is looking to do it at a new weight class, after announcing his drop down from heavyweight to light-heavyweight.

Ngalani’s motivation comes from his match with Aung La N Sang in Myanmar last November, when he was submitted by “The Burmese Python” in ONE Championship’s first-ever Open-Weight Super Bout.

It was a matchup that gave Ngalani valuable experience, as he explained during an interview with ONE Championship.

“Before the bout, I was working on defending ankle locks and other things. I did not see that he was going to take me for the guillotine,” he explained.

“I did not work on it, and now I have. It shows there is just so much to learn. I want to learn every day. It keeps me alive and motivated, and I love that. I love the whole thing. I learned from the match, and came out with more knowledge.”

That defeat prompted Ngalani to step back and reassess his situation in ONE Championship. Up to that point he was single-minded in his aim to earn a shot at the ONE Heavyweight Champion Brandon Vera.

But his defeat to Aung La N Sang sent Ngalani back to the drawing board, and he came to the conclusion that his future laid in a different weight class.

Now he’s dropping to light-heavyweight, and he has set his sights on success, including victory over his nemesis.

“I am very light for the heavyweight division. It will be easy for me to switch,” he explained.

“I can see that Aung La N Sang [just won] the title against [Alexandre] Machado, and I know that we will meet again very soon.”

Before he gets his shot, Ngalani will look to establish himself at the weight class, starting at ONE: IRON WILL on Saturday, 24 March when he takes on Mongolia’s Ariunbold Tur-Ochir in Bangkok, Thailand.

Tur-Ochir heads into his ONE Championship debut with a Kyokushin karate black belt, a national championship in combat sambo and the MGL-1 Light-Heavyweight Championship. Sporting a 4-1 record, he’ll be looking to claim the scalp of Ngalani and make his own impact in ONE Championship, but the Cameroonian star says he’s not overly concerning himself with his opponent. Instead he’s working on optimising his own skills ahead of their meeting later this month.

“I never really focus on finding things on my opponent. I focus on myself,” he explained.

“Sometimes, my team checks and tries to find an angle to focus on. So far, they say they do not have much material to work with, so we will just stick to what we did previously. That is fine with me. I never underestimate an opponent regardless of what he has out there.”

And while “The Panther” will be looking to score a win in whatever manner presents itself on the night, the hulking Hong Kong native has a preferred method of victory.

“The ‘Panther high kick’ to the head,” he laughed.

“That would be perfect.”

With a host of KOs on his record, including an 11-second KO, and a history of landing spectacular kicking techniques, don’t rule it out.

Interview by ONE Championship. Story by Simon Head.

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 19 years’ experience in the UK's national media covering major sporting events including UFC world title fights, Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, Grand National and the FA Cup Final.


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