Ev Ting is in the most important training camp of his impressive mixed martial arts career. He knows taking the ONE Lightweight World Championship away from wushu expert Eduard “Landslide” Folayang will be a difficult task, but making the potentially remarkable feat easier is being sufficiently prepared.
For eight weeks straight, “E.T.” will be preparing with some of the best fight teams across the globe, training alongside a slew of fellow Malaysian warriors who are as hungry to taste victory as he is.
All of that will lead to Friday Night, 21 April, when the 27-year-old challenger steps into the cage at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, with his primary objective to outwork Folayang in every area of the game.
“The goal as a martial artist, in general, is to always improve in all aspects and to go to sleep knowing you are better than yesterday. That is my theory,” Ting says. “In regards to focusing on something in particular, it is to be able to keep a high work rate, and to train myself to be fitter and stronger than Eduard (Folayang).”
In a way, it seems as if Ting never left training camp. Having just defeated ex-contender “The Prince Of Persia” Kamal Shalorus at ONE: THRONE OF TIGERS on 10 February, he left Kuala Lumpur for New Zealand to let his body rest for only a week before heading back to the grind.
The first leg of his training camp remained in New Zealand with his main team Auckland MMA, where he concentrated on his skill set, his strength, and getting both physically and mentally prepared to endure the rigors of a demanding training schedule. He also spiced up his routine by rounding out his BJJ game at the nearby Tu Kaha Jiu-Jitsu.
“I have been training under my head coach Hamish Robertson, and I have got a lot of loyal fighters who grew up with me and trained alongside me — a lot of champion amateur fighters and pro fighters as talented as me who have been waiting for their opportunity to shine,” he states.
Roughly four weeks into camp, he switched locations to train primarily in Asia. For this particular bout, he travelled to Bali MMA on the beautiful beaches of the Indonesian island paradise. The last time he sharpened his skills at this venue was in January 2016, when he was preparing for an engagement against Eric Kelly. He won that bout via submission in the third round.
“Just going to Asia in the last three to four weeks is a given,” Ting said. “It is more so for me to acclimatize and get used to the timezones, and making sure I can peak on that Friday Night.”
Currently at Bali MMA, he will sweat under the tutelage of the Leone brothers, Muay Thai champion Tiffany Van Soest, and head coach Don Carlo-Clauss. Ting will also train alongside his fellow Malaysian compatriots including Keanu Subba and Muhammad Aiman, both of whom will be in action at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY to fight Christian Lee and Danny Kingad, respectively.
That fighting spirit only adds to the atmosphere.
“Bali MMA has more guys fighting on the same show, and they have Anthony Leone fighting for the ACB World Title as well, so it is a gym filled with hungry fighters ready to go,” E.T. explains. “I like it there. The intensity is high and they train hard, and I can taper off and peak for fight week.”
All that preparation will come to a head on Friday night, 21 April, when Ting finally faces Folayang inside the ONE Championship cage for the biggest fight of his life. For those 25 minutes, it is up to Ting to decide if he is indeed the king of his own destiny.