The AMC Kickboxing & Pankration representative has long been a part of Demetrious Johnson's camps, but now he feels it is his time to make his name in the sport.
Yang has a lifetime of martial arts behind him despite his 1-0 record. The Washington resident has spent time in China at a Shaolin Temple, was a member of the national Wushu team, and competed in international martial arts competitions.
His transition into MMA finally happened against Roel Rosauro, and the American shined with a second-round finish. But he is not content.
"I think I can do a lot better. No matter how you do in your performances, even if you feel like you're at the top, you have to remind yourself, you're only halfway up. You're only halfway there," said Yang.
"The walkout and everything, when I came out, it was just a huge rush of this energy and almost a smile on my face when I walked out. I just had to visualize it so much, and I've worked so hard to get to that point, and to actually be there is something that was very gratifying to my soul."
Next up for Yang will be Subba, who has more experience competing on the global stage against top-tier competition. It will be a stiff test for the American but could also be a jumping-off point as he tries to make waves in 2022.
Yang has studied his opponent and believes he is ready for the challenge.
"Keanu's an excellent fighter. He's fought a lot of top guys. He's a tough guy, durable guy. But at the end of the day, whoever's the smartest is going to win the fight, and whoever wants it more. I'm going to dig real deep for that," said Yang.
Although Yang wants to insert his name among the elite in the featherweight division, he is in no rush. He knows his work inside the Circle will speak for itself, and his second bout under the bright lights will be his statement.
In due time, the American expects the world to know his name.
"I just got to keep on putting exciting performances on, great finishes, and the rest will come," said Yang.
ONE: Eersel vs. Sadikovic will air live on Friday, April 22, beginning at 5 a.m. ET/2 a.m. PT on watch.onefc.com.
DOMINANT DEBUT 🔥 James Yang vs. Roel Rosauro | Full Fight ReplayBefore American warrior James Yang returns to action against Malaysian veteran Keanu Subba on 22 April, relive his electrifying debut against Filipino athlet...
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