‘I want both titles and nothing is going to stop me’ – One Championship super bout rematch in the works after Hong Kong’s Ngalani wins in Thailand
The ‘Panther’ looks ahead to a busy year after securing his fourth MMA victory in Bangkok over the weekend
Echoes from Alain “The Panther’ Ngalani’s thunderous legs kicks can still be heard across Bangkok after his latest One Championship win in Thailand on Saturday, and the top brass appear to have been listening to the Hong Kong-based fighter.
“I spoke to the One directors just after my fight and they had already planned for me to take on Aung La N Sang for a title at the end of the year,” said the 42-year-old Cameroonian (professional MMA record 4-4), who defeated Mongolia’s Tur-Ochir Ariunbold (1-1) via split decision after three rounds.
The Panther was caught by the Ariunbold’s straight right early in the first round – after which he shook his head – but recovered and continued to do damage with his legs. It was a kick-heavy affair even by Ngalani’s standards.
“I felt it but I recovered very quickly,” he said. “I hurt my hand in training so I was really cautious about punching. I expected to punch more than I needed to. My hands are still swollen right now.”
Having won his first fight of the new year – the veteran’s only fight since his loss to middleweight champion La N Sang (22-10, one no contest) – Ngalani can turn his attention to the championship belts. And boy he is hungry.
“I want that light heavyweight title and the kick-boxing super league title. It’s going to be a busy year for me. Step by step.”
Home favourite La N Sang forced Ngalani to tap via guillotine choke in the first round of a cross-weight super bout in Yangon, Myanmar last November. The Panther has continued to brush up his ground game so as to not give La N Sang the same openings when the increasingly likely rematch beckons.
“Anybody who fights The Panther just tries to take me down,” said Ngalani, who previously won four Muay Thai world titles and holds a 25-7-1 kick-boxing record. “So my camps have been focussed on preparing to be comfortable going down and coming back up.
“That’s been my issue and that’s what I’ve been working on at Impakt [Gym] for the last six months. Otherwise I feel strong and well-rounded; my kick-boxing is okay and we continue to work on memory and combinations.
“I’m taking the world championship this year and nothing is going to stop me.”
Ngalani was also announced as a star signing for One’s new Asia-wide kick-boxing super league launching in Manila, Philippines at One: Heroes of Honour on 20 April.
A return to the stand-up-only style is surely a concern for any of The Panther’s prospective opponents.
“There’s no taking me down in the super league so we’re going to stand there and trade. I’m excited and very comfortable in this form. If anyone wants to trade with me, you’re welcome to try.”