MIXED MARTIAL ARTS

‘I’ll have to put him away to win’: Eddie Ng promises fireworks in MMA return

Hong Kong-born fighter has first bout for more than a year at ‘One: Heroes of the World’ in Macau

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 August, 2016, 6:16pm
UPDATED : Friday, 12 August, 2016, 9:54pm

Eddie Ng Gar-wei has a simple plan of attack for his return to battle against former One Championship featherweight champ Honorio Banario on Saturday night.

“I’m going to have to put him away,” said Ng.

“He’s beaten some really tough guys. Me and him, we’re not just going to just go down – we’re going to have to put each other away. So that’s how I think it will end.”

The 30-year-old Hong Kong-born fighter (7-3) has been off the scene since his second-round submission loss to Costa Rica’s Ariel Sexton last May, and has battled career-threatening wrist injuries over the past two years as well.

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But he gave himself a clean bill of health after a workout in the bowels of the Cotai Arena on Friday as he looks to get his career back on track in the lightweight bout against the 26-year-old Banario (9-6-0), which forms part of the “One: Heroes of the World” card at the Venetian Macao.

“If I wasn’t 100 per cent I know my coaches wouldn’t let me fight and I wouldn’t either,” said Ng. “It’s been over a year – a long time out. But that’s normal for me. I’ve always have had long breaks between fights.”

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The fighter from the Philippines will certainly prove testing material for Ng, as a former title-holder, albeit at a lighter weight.

“He was a featherweight but he was a huge featherweight,” said Ng. “But you can only focus on your own actions – and that’s what I do.

“I don’t so much focus on my opponent because I can’t control what he does. The only thing I can control is me.

“I consider myself as a martial artist and my goal is to be better today than I was yesterday. So that’s what I am going to do.”

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There’s been a change for the main event on the card with Andrew Leone falling to an undisclosed injury during training in the week.

Stepping into his place will be Tilek Batyrov (10-1), of Kyrgyzstan, who now takes on ex-champion Adriano Moraes (14-2) for the interim flyweight title.

For me, I have never lost that belt. In my mind I won that fight. He knows I want that [rematch]
Adriano Moraes

Moraes is another fighter rebuilding after a setback, having lost his title in a controversial split decision to Kairat Akhmetov in November before winning his last bout against Eugene Toquero with a first-round submission in May.

Moraes has been fine-tuning his skills as a sparing partner for fellow Brazilian Amanda Nunes, and helped her prepare for her upset UFC world bantamweight championship victory over Meisha Tate in July.

“I’ve had to change my plans a little bit, change my strategy,” said Moraes. “But it’s okay. It’s going to be one more step to regain my belt.

“For me, I have never lost that belt. In my mind I won that fight. He knows I want that [rematch].

“But I feel good. My [training] has been good. I am here to fight against everyone. It’ll be a tough fight but that’s what I like.

“It is my life. I fight with my heart, I fight with my soul. His name ends in ‘ov’ and everyone who has that name is a tough fighter. But I believe I have more weapons for this fight.”