Alain Ngalani just wants to have fun and express himself
Alain Ngalani turned 46 last month and he hasn’t won a fight since 2018. But the Cameroonian is a ‘glass half full’ type of guy.
Given his age and recent record it would be understandable if he was contemplating retirement. But Ngalani feels that he has a lot more to offer,
“No matter how long I’ve been doing this game, I find that I still have a lot in my arsenal that I can showcase that I haven’t even shown yet,” he said.
Ngalani, who faces Thomas Narmo at ONE: ‘Battleground’ Part II, believes he is still improving. He appears to be impervious to the effects of ageing and promises to put on a ‘fantastic show’ at the previously recorded event,
“I’m always learning from my previous bouts and getting better and better. It’s a challenge to me to express myself the way I want and when I want, so I’m not going there to focus on him. I want to go there and express myself the way I want and put on a fantastic show.”
While his longevity is extremely impressive Ngalani knows he cannot continue indefinitely unless he gets back to winning ways. He has been stopped in his last three fights if you include a kickboxing bout in 2018.
Narmo will be making his promotional debut and Ngalani knows it is essential he puts in the sort of performance that will prove he is still a force to be reckoned with in the heavyweight division,
“I need to make a statement. I need to get back on the winning track. That’s my goal and that’s my motivation right there,” he said.
Ngalani is renowned for his incredible flexibility. Narmo is nearly eight inches taller than him but the Cameroonian says that won’t stop him trying to kick the former ice hockey player in the face,
“He’s a big guy, very tall, but I have fought a lot of opponents that are taller than me. Because he’s so tall, I want to be able to use my flexibility and put my kick in his face, so that’s my challenge.”
Ngalani has finished fights with some incredibly spinning strikes and has the speed to go with his flexibility. He is one of the most powerful fighters on the ONE Championship roster and suspects Narmo won’t want to engage in a striking match,
“If he stands up with me, that would be fantastic. But they always say that and then they try to take me down. I’m ready whether it’s standing or on the floor,” he said.
Finding a sparring partner to emulate the Norwegian giant must have been tough for Ngalani who is based in Hong Kong. But he has confidence in his own abilities and is not too worried about what his opponent brings to the table,
“I don’t usually focus on my opponent, on his strengths or weaknesses. I focus on myself, my strength and weaknesses, and bettering myself to become a complete fighter.”
Ngalani won his first kickboxing competition in 1998. A casual observation of his physique is enough to confirm that the veteran still trains extremely hard and he says at this stage of his career it is about enjoyment,
“I just want to go out there and have fun, have a good match, be happy with my performance, and express myself the way I want. These are things that matter to me.”
His opponent has an unblemished record but has never fought anyone with a win on their record. Ngalani might not be undefeated but he has been in with some of the top heavyweights on the roster and is relishing the challenge which Narmo poses,
“(He) is unbeaten and he has never fought in ONE. That’s a good challenge for me, and we all know that I never step back from a challenge,” Ngalani says.
When you possess the sort of power Ngalani does one shot is all it takes. He knows this and is confident his speed and timing will be too much for the Norwegian newcomer,
“As long as I’m ready, I’m a problem for anybody, so I didn’t really try to look much into him. I respect all opponents and anything is possible, so one just has to be sure of himself and I am sure of myself.”