WORLD lightweight title holder in the Cage Fighting Championship (CFC) Adrian Pang says he is proud of his Papua New Guinean upbringing and still holds the country close to his heart.
Speaking to Australia’s leading MMA (mixed martial arts) magazine, BLITZ, earlier this month, Pang explained how his early childhood in Kokopo, East New Britain, had taught him to be tough and to appreciate his blessings.
“It wasn’t hard growing up in New Guinea. There were a lot of Chinese-Papua New Guineans there and we all got along fine with the Tolais. There were some rough times but usually it was pretty good and most of my close friends are still in PNG,” he said.
After winning the CFC lightweight (70kg) world title from defending champion Rob Hill last July, Pang, 30, has continued his rise in the MMA industry.
But when asked whether his experiences in PNG helped shaped his fighting spirit, he said he owed his father James Pang for instilling in him the right attitude, “dad taught me to cope and not complain but it was just normal for me becuase I was used to living there (PNG).
Pang said he was thrilled that people in PNG loved their sport and how they supported their heroes.
“PNG people love their sports, especially contact sports! PNG is a great country and they support their athletes very well. When I visit PNG I get congratulated by the people and that’s always good.” “I love my country Papua New Guinea and they are right behind me,” an elated Pang said.
He left PNG at age 13 to attend school in Australia but returns regularly to visit family and friends.
Currently based in Brisbane Pang is a regualr feature on MMA shows around Queensland and has fought a variety of opponents from Australia and Asia.
Pang, a cabinetmaker by profession, has made MMA his career earning a living and a name as one Australia’s best cage fighters.