Fan Rong is ready to make a statement against Aung La N Sang at ONE Fight Night 10 on May 5. The Chinese middleweight talent is on his own mission to get a rematch with Reinier De Ridder. Overcoming obstacles is nothing new for Fan.
Growing up in Northeastern China, Fan was used to rough conditions. The hardened conditions with snow and ice were an everyday occurrence for “King Kong Warrior.” But that was the easy part. His town was even more harsh than the conditions.
“I know that a lot of young people who choose this career have problems with their family at first, but not my family, not from where I came from. Like I said, my hometown was a rough town, and people see a lot of things crazier than a cage fight, so it doesn’t really bother my parents. For them, it’s just another job that might get their son a good life,” Fan told ONE.
Martial arts would be his way out. His talent was evident early on in school. Proving to be a quick learner, Fan quickly had visions that his future could be somewhere in the realm of martial arts.
“When I started to do sanda in school, I realized that I’m really good at this. I reached the level of those who learned for years in just weeks. And I guess that was when I realized, hey, I’m really built for this, and maybe I should try to make it my profession someday,” Fan said.
When he became a police officer, Fan was tapped to use his martial arts ability to teach the women’s special forces. After a few years in the position, Fan turned in his badge in 2015. It would be his final job before moving to mixed martial arts full-time.
One of the central figures behind “King Kong Warrior” has been Jiang Longyun. As one of the early Chinese MMA pioneers, Jiang has great influence over the sport in the country. As a ONE Championship veteran himself, he has been able to instruct Fan each step of the way.
“Ask anyone in China in our industry, nobody wouldn’t know his name. And the fact is, almost everyone in China who’s now fighting on the global stage has somehow related to him. And even today, he still coaches us himself, wrestles with us, spars with us. Just a legend who’s always being a role model for the young ones. I will always see him as my biggest inspiration,” Fan said.
And Jiang is coaching him up ahead of ONE Fight Night 10. With such an important matchup, Fan is getting instruction beyond just the physical. Jiang has been mentally preparing him to do all the little details that will make the difference on May 5.
Being included on the massive event is an honour for Fan, but he is not letting the global stage weigh too heavy on his shoulders. He is focused on “The Burmese Python.” He is ready to stop the resurgence of the Myanman icon, take over his position among the elite middleweights, and position himself as a title threat in the second half of 2023.
“Aung La was the former World Champion, and he’s been through tough wars against world-class opponents. This is the biggest fight of my career. Winning this one would show that I’m true championship material, and I can’t wait for it,” said Fan.
ONE Fight Night 10 airs live on Friday, May 5, from the 1stBank Center in Colorado. The event begins with two bonus bouts on ONE’s YouTube channel at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. The main card, free for all Amazon Prime members in the U.S. and Canada, airs at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Prime Video.