This time last year, Impact MMA’s Garie Tang (1-0) was about to strap on a pair of shin pads ahead of his third Amateur MMA appearance. How times have changed.
This past week, Tang, 24, was announced as one of the latest editions to the Singaporean contingent of Singapore Fighting Championship’s (SFC) maiden event this weekend, joining fellow countryman, Syafiq Samad, on the GODS FC pro portion line-up.
After closing out 2013 with a pair of victories as an Amateur fighter, Tang officially turned pro and scored his first win in June of this year, chain wrestling his way to a lopsided decision nod over former ONE FC competitor, Nicholas Lee, at Ultimate Beatdown 14.
Speaking to MMASucka.com this week, the 24-year-old believed the realization of being a pro fighter had settled in rather quickly than expected, and he just had to make a couple of tweaks to his daily lifestyle.
“Nothing much has changed, really,” he said, enthusiastically. “Though right now, after turning pro, I’m definitely more focused and I just have to make more sacrifices.”
“In the past, I could eat whatever I wanted and not care about eating clean too much or whatever. Now, I make sure I eat well just so I can train properly and feel better when I compete. In terms of intensity, I enjoy training at a high pace so it’s fine, and I’m always pushing myself all the time.”
Saturday’s SFC installment will be Tang’s second venture as a professional MMA fighter and the Singaporean remained coy over the transition from 3 x 3 minute rounds to 3 x 5 minute rounds. In fact, while it may be a course for concern for other professional newbies, the 24-year-old was upbeat that an extra six minutes would be nothing to him. If anything, he thinks it’s an advantage.
“The pace changes a little bit. There’s a bit more of a feeling out process and there’s certainly more time to play around, see what your opponent likes to do and all that,” Tang continued. “But apart from that, since my cardio has always been fine, the transition has been rather smooth.”
“Honestly, I think the longer it goes, the better it is for me because I believe I always work harder than my opponents.”
Throughout his career thus far, the Impact MMA prospect has seen his fair share of shifts between weight classes too. His fight against Lee took place at Flyweight, while his tussle this weekend has been signed for 115-lbs. With that said, however, Tang isn’t setting his sights on a particular division. Sure, he’d like to fight at 115-lbs in the long run, but presently, he believes both weight classes are going to be able to offer fights that interests him.
“I walk around at Flyweight. For this fight though, I just had to watch what I eat slightly more and cut a little bit (of weight). It was not really an issue,” he conceded.
“In the long term, I’m hoping to compete permanently as a Strawweight because that’s my natural weight class and where I’m most comfortable at. But I’m always open to doing Flyweight fights too, and if that’s the case, I’ll put on some extra muscle for it.”
And while he’s personally relishing to get his fisticuffs to work on Saturday, Tang is even more excited about Singapore Fighting Championship’s inaugural showcase altogether. At a grassroots level, Tang concurred it would be nearly impossible to emphasize the impact SFC is set to make in the country. The extraordinary rise of the sport of MMA across the border in Malaysia has been well documented with the establishment of MIMMA, but in terms of the sport’s growth locally, there’s no clear sign of a climactic surge happening soon.
But Tang believes SFC can change all of that, and fervently grow Mixed Martial Arts through the formation of Amateur competitions and opportunities.
“I think we have a couple of really talented Singaporeans in the gyms here and I think as time goes by, as we have more fights, we’ll make a name for ourselves. Down the road, we want to beat better guys and also win belts and perhaps then, MMA will be more supported by locals,” he concluded.
“The start of SFC is really nice and there should be more promotions like these, locally. In Malaysia, there’re a lot of such promotions and a lot of fighters and a lot more up-and-coming guys. So for now, I think this well definitely help the local scene and more supporters will come out.”
Garie Tang (1-0) clashes with Filipino fighter Fritz Biagtan (0-0) as part of three pro Super fights taking place under the GODS FC flag in Singapore Fighting Championship’s first event, which goes down December 20 at GymKraft in Guillemard Road, Singapore.
The night is set to be dominated by Amateur fighters, where a $300 cash prize along with title straps across multiple weight divisions will be awarded through a series of one night 4-man tournaments. Click here to check out the event’s full fight card.
*Photo credit: VIILevent Photography