As the saying goes, there’s no place like home, and Kiwi-Malaysian Ev Ting is hoping the comforts that come with a return to his roots in Kuala Lumpur will also result in a return to the winner’s circle.
The 29-year-old will square off with Japan’s Daichi Abe at ONE: Masters of Destiny in the Malaysian capital on July 12, where Ting will look to soak up what is sure to be a vocal crowd of partisan support in his city of birth.
Ting’s parents moved his family to New Zealand in search of a better life when he was just a young kid, where he’s resided ever since. Nevertheless, he still holds fond memories of his time in Kuala Lumpur and has been a regular visitor ever since.
His chosen profession has allowed him to become a frequent visitor, and he’s as eager as ever to get back and put on a display to make his people proud on July 12.
“That’s my birth city and I always enjoy going there,” Ting said. “The crowd will definitely be louder.”
Recent times have been testing for Ting, with two consecutive losses in his previous two bouts – albeit against two of the lightweight division’s best in Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev and former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki.
While the Kuala Lumpur faithful will be raising the volume levels when Ting makes his entrance, he expects his focus to be so laser-locked that he won’t notice a thing outside of his bubble of intense concentration and trainers.
“I’ll be too zoned in and focused by that stage, all my energy will be directed towards the cage,” says Ting.
And against an opponent as dangerous as Abe, rightly so. The 27-year-old welterweight poses a considerable challenge with his dangerous combination of judo and power striking.
Coming off three straight losses of his own, Abe is certain to be desperate to get his hand raised. But Ting is confident his preparation with his team at Auckland MMA will see him ready to deal with whatever is thrown his way.
“We’re both pretty well rounded. We’re both on a redemption run. It’s pretty much who’s put in more work and who’s hungrier, who’s making more sacrifices right now.
“I feel like I’m ahead there and I’m going to showcase that I’m better than him in every aspect of the game,” Ting concluded.
The athlete known as “E.T” is certainly on a mission, and back on home territory, it’s difficult to doubt him.