Ev Ting is one fight away from a One Championship lightweight title fight against Australia’s Martin Nguyen, but first the New Zealand based fighter will have to get past Japanese MMA icon, Shinya Aoki.
Officially announced at a press-conference last week, the two will face-off on the One Championship: Kingdom of Heroes event scheduled for Bangkok, Thailand on October 6.
Ev “E.T” Ting brings a solid 16-4 record into the contest. The 29-year-old has impressed in his last three outings, defeating Japanese fighters Nobutatsu Suzuki, Koji Ando and edging Ariel Sexton via split points decision. Ting trains out of Auckland MMA and has been outspoken in his desire to challenger for a title.
“I was a little bit gutted that there was no belt on the line, ” Ting told Newshub NZ. “Not even an interim.”
Ting did challenge for the title in April 2017 but went down to Eduard Folayang in what was only his second loss in 12 appearances in the promotion. A win over former title holder Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki will not only be the biggest in Ting’s career, but will also propel him to a title fight against Martin Nguyen in March, which is when a blockbuster event is planned to take place in Japan.
A fan favourite in Japan, Aoki would wish nothing more than reclaiming the title in front of his home fans. Aoki is coming off a strong first round stoppage over Shannon Wiratchai just last month, which took the 35-year-old’s record to 41-8. A decorated grappler, it’s no surprise that 25 of those wins have came via a submission.
“I think it is going to be a very good fight. You can never count Shinya out. He lost his title, but he has been on a tear since,” Nguyen said in an interview on the promotion’s website. “He has finished guys decisively – first-round finishes compared to Ev, who has ridden out decisions.
“Ev has come back, he’s on a three-bout winning streak, and has taken out some high-level contenders that really deserved it as well. He really deserves a title shot, but man, you can’t say no to Shinya (getting a World Title shot), you know?
“The guy can have four losses in a row, and then come back and finish a fight in the first round, and you still can’t deny him. He is a dark horse – that’s how I see Shinya.
“I have massive respect for both of the fighters. I can’t wait to see how this one plays out.”
One Championship: Kingdom of Heroes will be headlined by a boxing fight, the first for the promotion with Srisaket Sor Rungvisai, defending WBC Flyweight World Championship against Iran Diaz of Mexico.