‘I don’t feel my age, so don’t tell me,’ says history-making 42-year-old MMA knockout king Alain Ngalani
‘The Panther’ revels in the biggest night of his career and now targets ‘super bout’ with One Championship middleweight champion Aung La Nsang
The reverberations of Alain “The Panther” Ngalani’s history-making 11-second knockout last weekend are still being felt across the world of mixed martial arts with the Hong Kong heavyweight being offered a “super bout” with the One Championship’s middleweight champion Aung La Nsang.
“It was the quickest knockout I’ve had – and the most memorable,” said 42-year-old Ngalani on Thursday, back home and resuming operations at his Impakt MMA gym in Central.
“The crowd went crazy and it was unbelievable. It was the biggest night I have had in my career.”
Not bad work for a man who has been fighting – in one form of combat sports or another – since 1981 and who has now reached an age he readily admits for many seems well past his use-by date.
So how does he maintain the rage?
Ignore what anyone else says, at all times, says Ngalani.
Watch: Alain “The Panther” Ngalani’s record knockout
“People always ask me if I don’t feel old already and if I get slower and more tired,” said the Cameroon-born fighter, who has called Hong Kong home since 2001.
“But if no one reminds me of my age I have no idea what it is. I don’t feel it, that’s for sure.
“I just keep training, as I have all my life. You have to keep the momentum going, in all things in life, and then you won’t feel the impact of age.
“I love being involved in MMA and with the One people. It gives me motivation.
“I don’t need to prove much any more. I have already proved a lot. But this is a whole new level of excitement.”
While the finer details of the deal with Nsang are still being finalised, the bout would place Ngalani at the top of One’s ‘Hero’s Dream’ card in Yangon on November 2, against the first Burmese fighter to claim a world mixed martial arts title, and in front of what will no doubt be a sell-out crowd.
The four-time Muay Thai world champion’s results have been mixed since he turned to MMA in 2013 with a record that stands at 4-3, one no contest, but Ngalani’s bouts don’t leave anyone wondering. All seven have been finished by way of knockout.
The last of those was last Saturday in Jakarta, when he landed a right on veteran Hideki “Shrek” Sekine’s jaw on 11 seconds, sending the Japanese fighter to the canvas and the One statisticians to their record books before they declared it the fastest heavyweight knockout in the organisation’s history.
“People know I am a striker, with my fists or with a kick,” Ngalani said. “So they try to get me on the ground. That’s what he did, but I knew that was coming so I just got ready to strike.
“I saw him come open and that was it. It wasn’t so much power but perfect timing.”