After a year and a half away from the cage, lightweight contender Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton is ready to make his return to the global stage of ONE Championship.
The 36-year-old Costa Rican standout is scheduled to meet former lightweight title challenger Ev Ting on the undercard of ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD, which takes place at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar on 23 February.
Sexton, who proudly owns an impressive 11-3 professional record, is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under the legendary Renzo Gracie.
In addition, Sexton is riding high on a three-bout winning streak and has a perfect 100 percent finishing rate inside the cage.
As Sexton prepares for his three-round lightweight clash against Ting at ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD, he has the world title in his sights.
“I think that I will deserve a title shot after this bout. I’m fighting today for the opportunity to put a prestigious world championship belt around my waist. ONE Championship has top-level lightweights,” he said.
Ting had the ONE Lightweight World Championship within his grasp, coming achingly close against then-titleholder Eduard “Landslide” Folayang in April 2017.
The 28-year-old Malaysian-Kiwi dynamo went the distance in a world title bout against Folayang, and it proved to be a good indicator that he was amongst the division’s elite.
After falling short in his bid to capture the ONE Lightweight World Championship versus Folayang in April of last year, Ting bounced back by scoring a first-round technical knockout victory over former welterweight kingpin Nobutatsu Suzuki four months later.
“I want to fight the best in the world, and if Ev Ting is the guy to fight to get to the champion, then I must beat him on 23rd February,” Sexton stated.
Sexton knows what Ting brings to the table both in terms of his heart and skillset, but the Costa Rican is confident that he will prevail over the ex-world lightweight title contender at ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD.
“I try not to focus too much on others, only on myself and what I can do. My best is always going to be better than anyone else’s. Everyone has a weakness, and it’s my job to exploit that in Ev Ting,” he explained.
Although he has a tough test in front of him on 23 February, Sexton shared that he is motivated to garner a decisive outcome his favor.
“Never leave fights to the judges, that’s why you got to finish the opponent that is in front of you,” he pointed out. “This match is going to be stopped. I would love for it to be a KO, but I see it as a submission or a TKO.”