Kai Tang has made himself a person of interest in the One Championship featherweight division.
The surging Chinese contender will put his seven-fight winning streak on the line when he matches fists and wits with Yoon Chang Min in a “NextGen 2” co-feature on Friday at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. Tang has authored five finishes during his current tear, all of them inside two rounds. He last appeared at One Championship “Fists of Fury 2” on March 5, when he needed just 1:59 to put away former Shooto titleholder Ryogo Takahashi with punches.
As Tang makes final preparations for his pivotal confrontation with Min, here are five things you might not know about him:
1. Some might consider him a throwback to MMA’s early days.
Tang put himself on the international radar when he won a WBK tournament in his native China with back-to-back second-round finishes of Avliyohon Hamidov and Asror Olimshoev at “The Battle of Proof” on Sept. 10, 2016.
2. He favors the stand-and-trade approach.
While Tang began his formal martial arts training in wrestling, he eventually gravitated to other disciplines and prefers standup exchanges. The proof: 10 of his 12 career victories have come by knockout or technical knockout, including his One Championship wins over Takahashi and Sung Jong Lee.
3. He sought out top-flight training.
Tang operates out of the Dragon Warrior Gym in Shanghai, China, where he has sharpened his skills alongside Marcio Andrade, Renato Velame and Niu Kang Kang, among others. Many regard it as one of the premier MMA camps in Asia.
4. Durability has been an endearing quality.
The Dragon Warrior Gym representative has never been finished in his 14-fight career. Tang suffered his only professional setbacks in back-to-back appearances four-plus years ago, when he dropped decisions to Bekhruz Zugurov and Asikerbai Jinensibieke in a four-month span.
5. All signs point to his being an ascending fighter.
Tang has now gone nearly 1,700 days without a loss. He has not tasted defeat since he wound up on the wrong side of a unanimous verdict against Jinensibieke at Kunlun Fight 10 on April 6, 2017.