The two square off for the inaugural ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Championship at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS.
Growing up, the 22-year old hero from Beijing didn’t have the focus and confidence he has now to achieve his goals. As a young boy, he was off-track and was seeking his own identity.
“When I was in junior high, I had the lowest grades in class,” Zhang said.
“When I entered junior high school, I had to leave my village and study in the city. There was a huge gap between my classmates and I financially. The quality of education in my village was poor compared to the city, so I could not catch up with the class.”
Zhang felt insecure which caused him to second guess everything he did.
“I did not have any confidence at that time, so I dropped out,” Zhang said.
Growing up in a family of martial artists, with his grandfather, father, and brother all being professional athletes, he accepted his calling and began training in Sanda and Muay Thai at the age of 12.
After middle school, Zhang decided to chase his martial arts dreams by moving to Thailand, where he began training and competing against elite opponents. By the time Zhang was 19 years old, he already had a notable amount of experience.
“When I was younger, my father taught me some traditional Chinese martial arts,” he said.
“I realized that even though I could not do well in school, I still had my talent in martial arts. Little by little, I regained confidence and felt good about myself again.”
“Muay Thai Boy” has devoted his life to martial arts and has decided to carve his own path.
“After I started martial arts, the results have been outstanding whether in the gym or in my matches, the results have consistently been good,” Chenglong concluded.
“I think it is rare for people to find something that they really like and stick to it long-term. Because what I am doing now makes me happy every day, I have continued doing this.”