An Interview With Jadamba Narantungalag, Legend’s New Lightweight Champion

25th November 2011

On October 30, Mongolian K-1 and Sengoku veteran Jadamba Narantungalag earned a hard-fought split decision victory over Australia’s Adrian Pang in what viewers have called one of Asia-Pacific MMA’s best fights of the year. We sat down with Jadamba following his return to Ulaanbaatar to get his thoughts on the fight, his new title, and his hopes for Mongolian MMA.

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First, congratulations on your victory. How does it feel to be the new Legend Lightweight Champion?

Thank you very much. It was a hard fight, and it felt great to win and take the title. I owe many thanks to my trainer and teammates for helping me to succeed.

Tell us about your fight with Adrian Pang. What were you expecting from him, and what was your game plan? Did the fight go the way that you thought it would?

First, I have to compliment Adrian Pang. He is great fighter, and a very tough opponent. I know that he has well-rounded skills, and I was expecting him to focus on striking and wrestling. My plan was to try to keep the fight standing and use my striking. I wasn’t expecting him to try for so many takedowns and submissions, and I wasn’t able to completely execute my game plan, but overall the fight went how I expected.

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In addition to earning the victory, you were also awarded Fight of the Night. And in fact, many spectators think that your contest was one of the best fights Asia has ever seen. What are your thoughts on that?

The most important thing was the victory, but I was also very happy to win Fight of the Night. Adrian and I are both very determined competitors, and we both wanted to win. When you have a fight like that, it will always win spectators’ hearts.

Some people are already saying that they would like to see a rematch between you and Pang in the future. How would you feel about a second match-up against him?

Now that Adrian and I have fought each other, we know each other much better. A rematch will be even more interesting since we can prepare better strategies and game plans. And our first fight was close, so I have no reason to refuse a rematch.

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Legend has some very strong lightweights on its roster. In your opinion, which fighter do you think should be the next challenger for the Legend Lightweight Title?

I have no preference. I will accept any challenger who Legend chooses for me.

Mongolia is a country with a long warrior tradition, but a relatively small population considering its large size. How would you describe the MMA scene in Mongolia? What are your goals for Mongolian MMA, both domestically and internationally?

You are absolutely right that Mongolia is a country with strong warrior traditions, but MMA has only recently started to develop here. I think that our fighting spirit and our skills in disciplines like Mongolian traditional wrestling mean that MMA has a strong future in Mongolia. And our talented new generation of young fighters like Batgerel and Purev will be good representatives for the sport. For myself, I would like to continue to introduce and train people in MMA, and act as a role model for hopeful young Mongolian fighters. And one of the most important things that I can do for Mongolian MMA is to continue to successfully defend my Legend title.

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What do your wife and children think of your fighting career?

My wife and children are very proud of me. In fact, my wife was one of my earliest K-1 fans! With their support behind me, I feel invincible in the ring.

After a long training camp and a hard-fought victory at Legend 6, you’ve clearly earned some time off. Are you taking a bit of a break? How are you spending your time in the aftermath of your big win?

It was a tough fight, and I was happy to take a few weeks rest after returning to Ulaanbaatar. But I’ve just recently returned to the gym for some light training, and I look forward to my next opportunity to defend my title. I’m very grateful to all of the Legend fans, and I’m excited to be in front of them again, fighting against some of the best competition in Asia!

 

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