The World Cup of Mixed Martial Arts (WCMMA) held the first ever Super Fight Series featuring Team China versus Team USA on September 15th in Connecticut, USA. Undefeated fighter David LaChapelle faced Yao Honggang and Brett Oteri got paired with Wang “The Boss” Sai. Their series of “Super Fights” are five round world title fights in their respective divisions, and the winners qualify to defend their belts globally, beginning with title fights scheduled this winter in Shanghai, China. Yao fought a five-round battle and lost to a disappointing decision. His teammate Wang Sai devastated his opponent in blistering fashion with a knee that finished him, yet this was ruled an illegal strike to a downed opponent therefore ruled as a loss. Upon review, the Athletic Commission overturned the result and Wang Sai became the first WCMMA Welterweight Champion.
Following this experience, Wang Sai returned to Asia to train more, and took his first fight in Pacific Xtreme Combat 34 in Manila, Philippines on November 17th at the Smart Araneta Stadium, the promotion’s largest venture to date. In remarkable fashion, he hammered his opponent into the canvas and earned himself another stunning victory, cementing an uphill run in his career.
While this journeyman welterweight is on of the most well-known MMA exports from China, not much is readily available about his background in English. We sat down with Wang Sai to remedy the situation.
Hi Wang Sai. Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your training background and competition experience.
I’m a pro MMA and Sanda fighter holding a degree in Sanda from The Nanjing Physical Education University. I joined the Jiangsu provincial Sanda team in 2003. I have won many fights, including my MMA debut in 2009 in China’s Art of War promotion. I suppose my biggest strengths are aggressiveness and power. Throughout my career, I’ve trained Sanda, BJJ, boxing, Muay Thai and other martial arts, so my skill set is pretty well-rounded.
As well as fighting for Art of War I have fought in Legend FC and Wu Lin Feng, so I have had experience fighting in major Chinese promotions. Over the years, hard work and fight experience in Europe, the U.S., and around Asia has sharpened my skills and helped me develop into a more mature fighter. The honors I have won fighting I am quite proud of. I can now call myself a steady, upright fight veteran, and a proud rep of my home Provence, Shandong.
I’ve been lucky to land good sponsorships and am grateful to them all. Some magazine articles describe me as “burly”, “strong”, and “aggressive”. Outside of the ring though, I am an easy-going, friendly, warm-hearted and charming guy- like most Shandonese people.
You may be China’s most international fighter. From all the fights you’ve had around the world which fight influenced you the deepest?
Every fight, every fight is a valuable experience to me. My will to win is greater than many I don’t ever want to lose, so I give each fight all I have.
What’s your training been like recently?
I was injured a while before the WCMMA fight, so I was practicing more technique, including footwork and ground fighting.
Which training programs do you have currently?
I have many training programs to do everyday, such as stand-up, combination work and jiujitsu.
What’s the best thing about being a fighter?
I like being a fighter. It give us a chance to prove ourselves. What happens in the ring symbolizes the characteristics of a true man. Toughness and bravery, as well as wisdom are all displayed by great fighters. MMA is the most complicated of all fight sports, I just love MMA!
Why do you like MMA? What make it attractive to you to learn and practice?
You know, it represents vitality, manhood and wild beauty. To our fighters, we can make use of our advantages in the competition as much as possible. In my opinion, MMA is the perfect union of force and beauty.
In your opinion what is the most important quality for a fighter to have?
The most important quality is to have heart. The 2 examples that come to my mind when I think of fighters with heart are my friends Vaughn Anderson and Yao Hong Gang. They both inspire me and give me lots of motivation. Their hearts are both very strong.
You’ve trained with some great guys like Ole Laursen and Vaughn, your coach at Xi’an Sports Uni, what do you think about him?
Vaughn is one of the most famous fighters in China, his jiujitsu and stand-up are great. We were training together and became familiar with each other during Art of War. We have been good friends for a long time. His brave heart deserves praise and he is the strongest fighter that I have ever seen, especially his spiritual side.
Tell us about your trip to the U.S, recently.
I few months ago in the states I won the WMMAC World Championship at Welterweight. After the event I stuck around and trained at CSA and another club called AC.
CSA has great coaches and I learned lots of new tricks, and made some good friends there too. I hope those guys can see my improvements in future fights. I am very grateful for their help.
How does the training environment compare with China’s?
Chinese MMA is still developing. It’s still not at the level as it is abroad and the training system here isn’t perfect yet. But China is full of great Sanda fighters and also has many Olympic champs. We can learn from each other and grow together.
Which aspects do you think we can improve and narrow the gap with foreign fighters?
Generally speaking, we are not good in wrestling and jujitsu compared with European fighters, because they have advanced theory in the aspect of boxing and their diet is reasonable. So we have a lot of things to learn from them. However, we have our traditional advantages in sanda, such as the stability of stand-up and Kicks. I’m confident to make progress in the future.
You have many accomplishments already as a fighter. What is your next goal?
I wish to one day become the most valiant fighter in the world. I still don’t feel as though I have achieved all my goals as a fighter yet. Now growth in Chinese MMA is gaining momentum. I’m sure my opportunities will just get bigger, and challenges will get more difficult for me. I must continue to improve, and I know I have lots of room for improvement still. I am look forward to what the future holds for me. I want to prove that Chinese fighters is powerful, we can beat more opponents by making great efforts.
We know your training is really hard, how do you relax yourself in your leisure time?
Yeah, I’m lucky to have many good friends in my life. I’ve come to Xi’an to meet many friends this time, training with Wang Guan, Alex Niu and Yang Liang is a good time to me. I would like to spend time with my friends, I have unforgettable memories with them.