Adrian Pang Interview Part 2 – June 2013

Adrian Pang MMA

Second part of our interview with Australian Lightweight Adrian Pang who returns back to competitive fighting on June 29 where he is scheduled to face Jai Bradney on the Adrenalin-Unleashed card. If you missed the first part make sure to have a read -> Adrian Pang Interview – Part 1

Fight News Australia: You’ve grown in size since the early days of your career where you competed at featherweight and even bantamweight, but if the UFC came calling wanting you to compete at featherweight would you do it?

Adrian Pang: I have had talks with them in regards to competing at featherweight due to the fact that the lightweight division is so stacked right now since the WEC merger. I believe I may be better suited to featherweight should I compete in the UFC but until that is put on paper I feel strong & capable right here at lightweight.

Fight News Australia: What are the UFC missing in not having you on their books?

Adrian Pang: They are missing a fighter that likes to make it a fight! There are so many new guys in the UFC now that have been doing it since day dot. I am happy where I am & I could retire tomorrow feeling I have accomplished what I want in the sport. I fight because I want to not because it looks cool on TV. 

Fight News Australia: You lost out to Jadamba Narantungalag by split points decision in your last fight who recently fought Koji Ando. Unfortunately it ended early in the third after an injury to Jadamba. You were there to corner a Damien Brown so got to watch the fight. What were your thoughts on the fight up to the injury?

Adrian Pang: Both fighter’s looked strong in their fights. Koji is a very big Lighweight & his grappling skills are sensational. Jadamba is a tough seasoned veteran. I watched him fighting in K-1. They were one round a piece, Jadamba looked as though he was about to start dishing it out. Koji Ando had figured his timing & landed a nasty sweep style takedown that dislocated or broke Jadamba’s ankle/foot? It was nasty, you could see the bone pushing skin from the stands. Jadamba’s face didn’t even change & he lay there knowing he could not move. Story is he refused treatment in Malaysia and insisted on waiting to go back to Mongolia for surgery. 

Fight News Australia: Ouch… Damien Brown was submitted by highly touted Japanese fighter Yusuke Kasuya. Thoughts on his performance?

Adrian Pang: Both fighters looked good. I have fought many Japanese fighters from same team as Kasuya & Ando, they are highly skilled functional grapplers. Kasuya was small looking for a lightweight but so really tight on the ground. Damien did well to fend off submissions from a grappler of his calibre.

Fight News Australia: Any communication from Legend FC about getting an opportunity to compete for their promotion again?

Adrian Pang: Most definitely. I was their first Asia-Pacific Lightweight champion & was there from their inception. They said I would be expected back when I am ready. 

Fight News Australia: Integrated MMA recently moved to a new gym not too far away from the previous gym. What can people expect at the new gym?

Adrian Pang: The new gym has been a long time coming. We have moved one street away from the old gym, the new place is top notch. All the team at Integrated MMA used their trades & skills to build one of the best facilities in Brisbane. I personally spent a few months over xmas & new year fitting out the gym out of my own pocket. No sponsors or UFC payments needed to re-establish one of the best gyms Australia has to offer. As the new gym has moved into one of my commercial properties it is very handy having my cabinetmaking business All Type Cabinets right out the front.

Fight News Australia: Dan Higgins is one of the instrumental parts in Integrated’s success and recently was awarded his BJJ Black Belt. You been training with him for about a decade now, so what would be the number one thing Dan brings to the team?

Adrian Pang: Coach Dan Higgins is a complete weapon! The boys are training for fights, taking their pre-workouts; whatever social network building they need but Dan kicks ass no matter what’s up. He has a wealth of knowledge in all facets of MMA. As Luiz Tannuri said the Black Belt was just a formality! Luiz has only ever graded four Black belts in his life! Dan has been submitting BJJ Black Belts as long as I’ve known him! 

Fight News Australia: I’ve seen Dan grapple and also heard many people comment on Dan’s high and underrated level of grappling skills. He has competed against some highly touted opponents in his MMA career but retired fairly early. Has he considered making a competitive return or is he happy staying as a teacher?

Adrian Pang: Adrian Pang: No Dan is happy as a coach. He lives & breathes martial arts & whoops ass in the gym on any given night. We all believe Dan could still make an impact should he return to competition but he has no desire to do so.

Adrian Pang faces off against Nam Yui Chul

Fight News Australia: On the topic of the next generation, is there some youngsters at Integrated that the public should keep an eye out for?

Adrian Pang: We are always breeding up & comers at Integrated MMA gym Brisbane. It’s who can stick around through the highs & lows that will be the ones to lookout for.

Fight News Australia: One person that goes under the radar at Integrated is striking coach Steve Compton with his son Elliot Compton also making waves in the Australian Muay-Thai scene. How has the experience been training with these two?

Adrian Pang: Steve Compton has been training me from the start of my MMA career. Prior to when I won my first title way back at Warriors Realm. Every week I learn more off him & he has so much knowledge in the martial arts from Jeet Kune Do to Silat, Thai-boxing & MMA. He makes each of us our own style rather than conforming to a style. You can see what he has done with his son Elliot Compton & how successful he is becoming as a Thai-boxer! A very young Elliot Compton, Mandy Stewart were often my sole training partners for my first title fight over 11 years ago. Another guy used to help called Kyle Noke but he is now overseas doing something?

Fight News Australia: You’ve been around the local scene since the early days so was wondering what your opinion is on basing yourself locally compared to internationally? Fighters like Robert Whittaker have commented that they want to stay in Australia and help the scene locals yet others like your team-mate Kyle Noke decided to move to USA to chase his dreams over there. I’m not sure if one is actually better than the other and would depend on a lot of things including training partners, family and other business ventures. Why did you feel it was important for you to remain in Australia?

Adrian Pang: Look obviously the opportunities overseas are far greater than we have here. Particularly USA where wrestling is part of the school curriculum, MMA gyms are everywhere with multitudes of talent. I guess if you are young with no responsibilities then to relocate overseas could prove better for ones career. I have spent my whole career here in Australia & have trained overseas here & there over the years. I believe I have everything I need right here in Brisbane with some of the best coaches training me. To me the best gyms in Queensland are right here in Brisbane. Integrated MMA, EOS Muay Thai Academy, Nitro Boxing & Fitness & Nuggets Thai Boxing gym. I have my coach & best mate Dan Higgins running Integrated MMA gym in Brisbane who is consistently producing champions. My long time striking coach Steve Compton who is always improving my striking game & puts countless hours into me. Blair Studley from Nitro Boxing & fitness that has brought a whole new strength training program into my game that I feel has revitalised my career which has added a whole new concept into my style. Nugget from Nuggets Thai Boxing gym who has been very open minded to the sport & concept of MMA.  Last and definitely not least team manager Tony Green who keeps pushing myself & the team to their maximum potential. Without the support & belief of my coaching staff & family I would not be where I am today.

Fight News Australia: In general, what are your opinions on the MMA scene in Australia and how much more can it grow?

Adrian Pang: When I started competing over 12 years ago it was relatively unknown then & pretty much still is today. Australia is producing even more accomplished fighters now some of which have been contracted into the UFC. I reckon over the next 10 years it will only get bigger!

Fight News Australia: Title fights seem to be given away on every promotion. Are they still as important to you as they once were or are they only as important as the fighter to face for the title?

Adrian Pang: Yes every promotion giving away titles. The higher the calibre of promotion & competitors the more value that particular title holds. It’s like kickboxing…everyone is some form of world champion of their suburb.

Fight News Australia: Obviously Australian fighters in the UFC may have to be excluded but do you ever see a a time where there will be legit Australian Title Fights with one belt being contested in each weight division, no matter what promotion?

Adrian Pang: I think fighters have to know the legitimateness of their title. If the promotion can barely afford to pay the fighter & people coming off losses are fighting for belts then there’s your answer. 

Fight News Australia: You’ve always been around the sport eagerly watching fights if you are not cornering or fighting. Do you see yourself being heavily involved in the sport in the decades to come?

Adrian Pang: Martial arts have been part of my life since I can remember so yes I will continue to be involved in the sport. Being co-owner of Integrated MMA gym Brisbane, my knowledge & skill set will be past down to anyone willing to learn.

Fight News Australia: Last of all, no doubt you have some family, friends and sponsors you want to thank. 

Adrian Pang: As mentioned without my family support I could not be where I am today. My wife Melina looks after our two beautiful children & not once does she ask/complain when I’m going to be home. She know’s the commitment, sacrifice, diet & dedication it takes to be successful in this sport & she supports me all the way. My Mother, Father & brother Jamie Pang who know how much I put in to this sport & how important it is to me.  My coaches Dan Higgins, Steve Compton & Blair Studley who put countless unpaid hours into me for the love of the sport. Last but not least Fairtex Bangplee Thailand who has sponsored me from the very start of my career & still to this day. ASN Southport who give me the fuel to keep on performing, QA signs who look after myself & the gyms signage needs. Most of all the gyms that I train at – Integrated MMA, EOS Muay Thai Academy, Nitro Boxing & Fitness and Nuggets Thai Boxing Gym. Also thank you to all the MMA fans out there that genuinely support Aussie MMA fighter’s. You guys coming to watch us entertain you is what makes it all worthwhile for the competitor & promoter.

Adrian Pang vs Jai Bradney

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