EXCLUSIVE: Malaysian born MMA fighter Ev Ting is confident to go all the way in his division to win the ONE Featherweight World Championship title
Ev Ting has taken the ONE Championship featherweight division by storm, impressively finishing all of his fights in the promotion thus far, and none of the opponents he faced were pushovers. There is certainly no doubt that the 25-year-old Malaysian born New Zealander is the real deal, and with only one win away from the title bout, could he be the title-challenging hero that Malaysian MMA fans have been waiting for?
In Ting's ONE debut at ONE: Era of Champions last year in June, he defeated Yohan Mulia Legowo by TKO in the very first round. Then in October at ONE: Roar of Tigers, he knocked out Eric Kelly's younger brother Edward Kelly with a nicely timed head kick. And his last fight at ONE: Age of Champions, which was only 2 months ago, he submitted Cary Bullos, a former URCC champion, with a beautiful standing guillotine. He has truly been spectacular and he's going back into the cage again on May 22nd for ONE: Warrior's Quest that's happening in Singapore.
Ting will definitely need an even stronger performance than ever before for this next fight as he will be taking on the unbeaten Marat Gafurov for the no. 1 featherweight title contender spot. The Russian is a former M-1 champion and currently holds a career record of 10 wins and no losses, including the rear naked choke submission victory over Rob Lisita in just over a minute into the main event bout at ONE: Roar of Tigers.
Hands down, this will be Ting's biggest fight in his career to date but despite being at the midst of his training routine working hard to prepare for the fight, Ting was willing to spend some time to answer my questions...
After yet another stellar performance at ONE: Age of Champions, you are now 3-0 in ONE Championship with all finishes. Why do you think you have been so impressive in ONE Championship?
I take every fight very seriously and I work hard preparing for each fight. I am also blessed to have great trainers at Auckland MMA and Saigon Sports Club and a team of world-class athletes who push me and help me improve.
Your previous fight was only in March and you're going back to the cage again this month for ONE: Warrior's Quest on May 22nd. What is your motivation to fight again this soon, and how have you been preparing for this upcoming fight? Is your routine still the same?
My motivation is to work up the ranks and be the best in my division. I am already in a training camp routine so fighting more is a smart idea. I train at least twice a day, 6 days a week, 12-15 sessions a week. I keep a diary each time and I will advance it for each fight. Not exactly more hours, it is adjusting specific drills and conditioning work in to prepare for the bout smartly.
Do you think you're the underdog coming into this fight against Marat Gafurov, and what's your strategy against the Russian?
It is a very interesting fight and my biggest fight to date as he is a star in Europe being a M1 Champ. Underdog or not, this bout is guarantees a graceful clash of fighting styles. I know Marat is a very sharp with his wrestling and BJJ, my strategy is always the same. Punch him in the face and keep adapting to the moment.
Whoever that wins this fight will be on the way to challenge for the title. You could be the first Malaysian fighter in history to win a ONE World Championship title. No pressure though. But with the confidence and experience you've gained thus far, do you think you are ready to go all the way in the featherweight division?
I don't think I am ready, I know I am ready. And I train hard & smartly. Smart is keyword. There’s no doubt that I am going all the way to be the best and representing my country and team in New Zealand and Vietnam.
You're Malaysian born, grew up in New Zealand and currently based there, training at Auckland MMA. Which country does your heart represent whenever you walk into the cage, and why?
Every time I walk into the cage, I fight mostly for my family, friends, my team and myself. I appreciate my Malaysian roots as much as my New Zealand family, which I grew up with.
Any special message and shout out to your fans?
New Zealand Supporters - Miss y'all! Be home soon! Singapore ONE Fans - I'm Coming! SE Asia Supporters - Stay tuned ! Also my sponsors RedRat, Culleys, TuneTalk, Auckland MMA, SSC, Throwdown MY, Amnig Compression.
Lastly, how do you think your fight will end? Do you have anything you wish to say to your Russian opponent?
I hope to bring my best into the cage and am going for an exciting finish. I got nothing disrespectful to say, but to train hard as I want to beat the best version of yourself.
ONE FC 27: Warrior's Quest will be headlined by Shinya Aoki's lightweight title defence against fellow Japanese fighter Koji Ando, and the inaugural strawweight title bout between Thailand's Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke and Philippine's Roy Doliguez. Watch it live via online pay per view on May 22nd at onefc.com/livestream.
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