Ev Ting is looking to ride his wave of good form all the way to a second shot at the ONE Lightweight World Title.
Ting has racked up three straight wins in his last three contests in one of ONE Championship’s deepest divisions.
He knocked out former ONE Welterweight Champion Nobutatsu Suzuki last August, and then earned decisions against fellow contender Ariel Sexton and former ONE Lightweight World Title challenger Koji Ando in February and June, respectively.
Now, the Kiwi-Malaysian contender believes he is perfectly placed for a run at the belt.
“I believe I am right there,” he says.
“My last fight was supposed to be for the title, but I took an extra fight because the champ was busy, and so I could stay busy. I got that win, so it makes sense to be right there.”
His last two victories showed Ting has the right blend of power and smarts to negotiate his way through a tough outing without emptying his gas tank looking for the crowd-pleasing finish every time.
“These guys are not easy fights. If it was a matter of choice, and I could just get in there and finish them in the first 10 seconds, then I would. But the contenders in the division are not lazy guys. They are all ready for five rounds,” he says.
“In a way, I would love to just knock them out, but it is not as simple as that. Anybody that trains would be able to vouch for that.
“I cannot complain though. I still got the ‘W’ and I am moving on to bigger things.”
Ting puts much of his improvement and progression down to his change of training camp for his recent bouts.
Now training out of Bali MMA in Indonesia, Ting says he is getting the ideal preparation for his contests at the gym, which is developing a growing reputation as one of the best camps in the region.
“That was my fourth training camp out of Bali,” he explains.
“Normally, I spend four to five weeks in Asia just to acclimatise and get better suited to the time zones.
“In Bali, we have a whole team out there now – Auckland MMA and the New Zealand team, the Malaysian team, and the Chinese team coming through – so it is becoming a world-class, international training camp.
“It is a lovely island to implement a training camp, so you can have the right training and recovery, and be around the right vibes to ultimately peak on fight night.
“It seems to be paying off, although I have been getting decision wins after all my training camps out there, so maybe there is something to sharpen here and there.”
And, circling back to the reigning champ Nguyen, Ting says he would relish the chance to stand toe to toe with the Australian, and he is confident he would hold the advantages in the contest.
“A lot of people are wanting to watch that match,” he says.
“That has become gossip on a lot of the internet searches and social media, so that seems to be the fight that people want to see. Whether it is in Vietnam, Australia, or anywhere else, it is going to be a good fight.
“I would see both of us standing in the middle of the cage and seeing who is going to fade off, but I am pretty sure I am going to be owning that cage or ring.”
But with Nguyen currently set to challenge for the ONE Interim Bantamweight Title against Kevin Belingon, Ting may have to turn his attention to different opposition.
Considering the ONE Lightweight World Champ is conducting business in another weight class, the Kiwi says he would not mind an interim title shot of his own.
“I was hoping to get four fights in this year. Right now I am up to two, so (I’m happy to compete) any time,” he says.
“I guess we just have to wait for Martin to fight Kevin Belingon, and then he can decide whether he wants to defend the lightweight title.
“I guess if that is not the case, I would happily fight Timofey Nastyukhin for an interim title or anyone else that Matt Hume (ONE Vice President Of Operations and Competition) believes would be a good match-up.”