Ev Ting will be moving up a division to face Rob Lisita in the main event of ONE: Unbreakable Warriors this weekend. For someone who has repeatedly been tipped as a future featherweight contender, it’s a significant move, but the Malaysian says he’s just happy to fight.
“The bottom line is I just want fight and reap the prize even if it’s 12 times a year. I have not much to gain from this fight, I have everything to lose. However, it’s business for me and it’s just getting to the next stage and if this is what’s in the way then I’m gonna drive my way through.”
Ting is taking on Rob Lisita at Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur. The Australian has fought four times for ONE Championship and none of those bouts have reached the third round, in fact three of them have lasted less than 90 seconds.
Putting Lisita on a card pretty much guarantees fireworks, but the Australian has lost his last three fights. While Ting is unsure what a win on Friday night will do for his title prospects, he is certainly not overlooking Lisita.
“Robert Lisita is a very tough opponent. You can never count him out. He’s got a big right hand and he likes to finish people. I’m not taking him lightly and I’m training for the best Robert Lisita that is out there.”
Ting’s won five fights out of six for ONE Championship and, like Lisita, he has a record of never going the distance. His only loss came at the hands of reigning featherweight champion Marat Gafurov and the Malaysian believes he is on track for a title shot.
“I feel like I’m one fight away from a title shot. I have five wins in ONE and I have five finishes. Shinya Aoki, Marat Gafurov, I don’t care. I’m coming for that belt.”
This will be Ting’s first fight since the new ONE Championship weight cutting regulations were implemented. He’s spent his entire professional career as a featherweight, but isn’t sure whether he will be able to compete there now that extreme dehydration has been banned.
Although Ting was born in Malaysia, he grew up in New Zealand; so some patriotic pride will be at stake when he faces the Australian born and bred Lisita.
“He’s a featherweight champion of Australia and I’m the featherweight champion of New Zealand, so it’s gonna be a Tasmanian affair and it’s gonna be honorable to represent Malaysia at the same time,” Ting said.
Ting started his training camp in Saigon, but has been in Kuala Lumpur for the last couple of weeks.
“My training camp is always hard. I spent my first four weeks at Saigon Sports Club and then I finished up here in Malaysia under the guidance of my coach Hamish Robertson from Auckland MMA, so everything is going to plan. I just need to make sure I’m injury free, feeling sharp, and I’m ready to go.”
The last time either man went the distance was in 2013 when Ting dropped a split decision to a Korean fighter in Kuala Lumpur. ONE Championship’s matchmakers obviously believe that this has all the makings of memorable fight and the Malaysian knows exactly how it’s going to end.
“We’re gonna stand in the middle of the cage, we’re gonna trade a few blows, and the first opportunity that opens up, we’re gonna finish. So stylistically, I’m gonna punch him and he’s gonna fall over.”
(Follow @JamesGoyder on Twitter)