Malaysian born Ev Ting bought his ‘A’ game in his bout against lightweight champion Eduard Folayang at One Championship: Kings of Destiny on Friday night, but it was not enough as the Auckland MMA trained fighter lost a unanimous decision in what was for the most part a stand-up battle.
The event took place at Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
The two combatants initiated early on in the standup with flurries of strikes, but nothing clean landed in the earlier rounds as both fighters demonstrated great defense. The tempo and intensity rose up with each round and both fighters began to connect heavily. In the striking exchanges Folayang aimed for wild punches, various spinning techniques, leg-kicks and sidekicks to keep Ting at bay, while Ting pursued with powerful hooks, uppercuts, high kicks and on a few occasions flying knees. Throughout the bout Ting attempted to get the fight to the ground, but his adversary Folayang proved to be too strong in his takedown defense .
An individual highlight for Ting in round four was a successful flying scissor takedown into a heel-hook submission attempt in which was the NZ based fighter’s strongest round. For a large portion of the later stages of the match, Ting controlled the centre of the cage, moved forward and tried to coax Folayang into counter strikes.
Overall striking volume and the ability to keep the fight standing were the keys to Folayang’s victory and retaining the One Championship strap in his home country.
“I would like to thank Ev Ting, he really came prepared for this fight. We came to give the fans a good fight, and that’s what we have done,” Folayang commented post-fight.
“This is the essence of martial arts, five rounds to show how much we’ve prepared for a long time. [This fight] means a lot.”
Post match Ting was gracious in accepting his first lightweight defeat and now drops to 13-4. With the win, Folayang continues to a four fight win streak and now holds an 18-5 record.
Teammate of Folayang Kevin Bellingon put on a dominant showing in his co main event bout against Finnish prospect Toni Tauru. Bellingon’s striking was clearly superior from the get-go and it didn’t take long until a blitz from Bellingon knocked Tauru down to the canvas where he proceeded to a vicious ground-and-pound onslaught forcing Tauru verbally submit midway through round one. With the win, Bellingon now is 15-5 and moves one step closer to a rematch with current bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes, while Toni Tauru falls to 11-5-1.
Australian based Brit Natalie Gonzalez Hills fought out a grueling back-and-forth contest against hometown fighter Gina Iniong. Hills defended takedowns well early on, but the fight soon became a stand-up war. Despite Hills being on the receiving end of heavy overhand right blows all night, Hills continued to push ahead and remained composed but the decision going to Iniong was a result of her constant pressure and control in both grappling and striking.
David Lewellin is a Melbourne based contributor for Fight News Australia.