Eddie Ng fought on ONE Championship's inaugural event and went on to establish himself as one of the most popular fighters on the roster. He won his first five fights for the promotion and was being talked about as a serious title contender in the lightweight division.
Since then, Ng has suffered successive stoppage losses but as he prepares to return at ONE: "Battle of Heroes" in Macau, the 30 year old veteran says the recent setbacks have made him mentally stronger.
"Losing is not the end of the world. Inevitably, everyone will lose if they stay in the game for long enough but I feel that with my losses I matured greatly on an emotional and spiritual level."
At the Cotai Arena he will be taking on former featherweight champion Honorio Banario. The Filipino is a veteran of nine ONE Championship fights and Ng knows what to expect on August 13th.
"Banario has been quite active in ONE and I have seen several of his fights before. He is the former ONE Featherweight World Champion and I don't particularly see any major weaknesses. His strength is undeniably his fighting spirit."
The fight will be in the lightweight division but Ng isn't overly concerned about his opponent's status as a former champion.
"Securing a win over a former ONE champion could potentially garner more attention but I don't really think about it like that. Banario is just another human being with two arms and legs like myself. We are both doing our best to be the best competitors that we can be. I will do my best and the result will take care of itself."
In Ng's last fight he was submitted in the second round by Ariel Sexton but not before breaking the Costa Rican's arm with a body kick. The Hong Kong native clearly has some power in his strikes and has nothing but respect for an opponent who continued to fight despite suffering from a serious injury.
"Sexton is a true Martial Artist with a warrior spirit and it was an honour to share the cage with him."
Fighting on the inaugural ONE Championship card is a memory that Ng will always cherish but he is equally excited to be competing in Macau.
"In 2011, I fought for the inaugural ONE Championship event in Singapore and when my competitive days are over and I reflect on my career, that will undoubtedly be one of my highlights but I am beyond excited to be part of the very first ONE Championship event in Macau. I will have some friends and family in attendance on the night, for several it will be their first live MMA event."
It puts a certain amount of pressure on Ng's shoulders but he has been putting in the hard time at Evolve MMA and is confident he will be able to perform to his full potential in Macau.
"Muay Thai World Champion Nontachai Sit O has been working with me on my striking and I have been sparring with some of the new Muay Thai World Champions that recently joined the Evolve Fight Team like Sam-A Gaiyanghadao and Petchboonchu F.A Group as well as working on my grappling with BJJ World Champions Leandro Issa and Bruno Pucci."
Ng will be the first to admit that he is not overly results orientated and says he prefers to focus on the process of preparation rather than worrying about the potential outcome of the fight. However he continues to learn his craft obsessively and is fanatical when it comes to personal improvement.
"I continue to do my best every day to improve as a martial artist with the best coaches, team mates and students in the world at Evolve MMA."
Ng was brought up in England but has the humble attitude that you come to expect from Asian fighters. It helped keep him grounded when he went five years undefeated and means he is not panicking about a two fight losing skid.
Next month's bout with Banario still represents a potentially significant inflection point in Ng's fighting career and he will be hoping the hours of painstaking preparation in Singapore give him the tools he needs to register what would be the tenth win of his career in Macau.