Malaysia’s Ev “E.T.” Ting is in the midst of preparations for his upcoming title bout against ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “The Landslide” Folayang at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY on Friday Night, 21 April.
Though “E.T.” will step into enemy territory and compete in Manila, Philippines, for the first time, he has quite the track record when it comes to fighting Filipinos, especially in the Malaysian stronghold of Kuala Lumpur.
In ONE Championship alone, he has defeated four Filipino warriors in his last seven fights, and three of them have ties to the champion’s lovely home of Baguio City. You could say he has their number.
Here is a quick look back at Ting’s journey to his shot at gold by defeating Folayang’s friends along the way, and why the champion might have added motivation to defeat him.
#1 Ev Ting Defeats Edward Kelly at ONE: ROAR OF TIGERS
Following a successful promotional debut four months earlier, Ting entered Putra Indoor Stadium to fight Team Lakay’s Edward Kelly in front of his countrymen at ONE: ROAR OF TIGERS, and he did not disappoint.
It was a calculated first round where the hometown hero kept marching forward with strikes and takedown attempts, but the visiting Igorot warrior negated almost everything Ting threw at him. However, with 32 seconds left in round two, the Malaysian threw a powerful roundhouse kick to Kelly’s head and knocked him out cleanly.
“That fight was tough. I expected a stand-up war in the first round, but I never felt so tired after a first round, and I knew I had to set something up. I was glad the head kick worked, but I saw that fight as a very technical fight that did not go the way I thought it was going to go,” says Ting with a chuckle as he reminisces.
“I thought some exchanges were going to happen, and maybe I would get a TKO or maybe work my ground game. I thought my ground game was better than his at the time, but I could not take him down and hold him, clearly. The fight ended up being a head kick TKO, so I cannot complain about that.”
#2 Ev Ting Defeats Honorio Banario at ONE: TIGERS OF ASIA
This match had all the makings to be the Fight of the Night at ONE: TIGERS OF ASIA. Ting had just lost to future ONE Featherweight World Champion Marat Gafurov five months earlier, and Team Lakay’s Honorio Banario — the division’s inaugural title holder — was staring at a four-fight losing streak.
Both men were dynamic strikers with their back against the wall. It appeared as if someone would get knocked out, but looks could be deceiving. Once the bell rang, Banario avoided Ting’s strikes, displayed his grappling, but got caught in a guillotine choke. He tapped out 56 seconds into the opening stanza. To this day, the Malaysian is still surprised by the quick finish.
“I was training out of Saigon Sports Club at the time, but we had a few Muay Thai fighters that were scheduled to fight, so we did the camp at Sitsongpeenong [Muay Thai] in Bangkok with Sittichai, the current Glory camp who also trains there. We spent the last three weeks there and, as you could imagine, it was a very traditional Muay Thai camp,” he recalls.
“So I went into the fight [with Banario] expecting a stand-up war, and I choked him out in the first minute. I did throw my striking with full force. It must have forced him to go for that takedown, a sloppy takedown, and it cost him. It was just another fight to get to where I needed to be.”
#3 Ev Ting Defeats Eric Kelly at ONE: CLASH OF HEROES
After disposing of Banario in near-record time, Ting was immediately offered a headlining bout against Eric Kelly three months later at ONE: CLASH OF HEROES. Though Kelly does not compete under the Team Lakay banner, he hails from Baguio City, and runs in the same circles as the aforementioned combatants. Plus, revenge for his brother Edward was on his mind.
This match was a three-round bonanza. Kelly gave a valiant effort, even taking the Malaysian’s back in the opening frame, but Ting proved to be too much for his Filipino opponent. Once again, the Malaysian guillotine choked his way to victory, this time at one minute and 58 seconds into the third stanza.
“I felt like I had a little bit of momentum going into fights, especially against Filipino fighters,” he states. “I pretty much rode that momentum and continued to do what I do, which was always be better and always try to outwork them. It is simply that — being the better fighter on fight night, and that is what I am going to bring come 21 April.”