On Friday, 22 November, the 25-year-old earned a split decision against Ev “ET” Ting, but the response from his hometown crowd in the Singapore Indoor Stadium left him dissatisfied with the manner of his victory.
The Evolve representative reviewed the match and says he has no doubt that he deserved to get his hand raised, but he admits that his game plan may not have pleased fans who expected a toe-to-toe war.
“When I said I wanted to showcase my striking, I meant that I didn’t want to just go in brawling randomly and trying to get the lucky shot off,” he explains.
“I did showcase more of my defensive aspects – like, I made him miss and he couldn’t really connect on his shots, but yeah, I was not offensive enough.
“If I was more offensive, I could have finished him in the second or first round. Other than the first round, where I caught him with some elbows and stuff, I definitely could have been more offensive overall.”
His approach made for a very close contest, which he was certainly not content with, and drove his desire to extend an invitation to his opponent to meet again in 2020.
- Amir Khan Wins Split Nod After Tough Battle With Ev Ting
- The Heroes Of ONE: EDGE OF GREATNESS React On Social Media
- 5 Lessons We Learned At ONE: EDGE OF GREATNESS
“It was a split decision, so either of us wouldn’t be happy with the outcome because it was such a close fight, whether I win or he wins,” he says.
“I spoke to [Ting]. I said we can run it back, immediately. I will give him the opportunity as it was a super close fight. I think he also didn’t fully showcase what he was capable of [either], so I told him that we could run it back.
“We were talking about each others’ kids because he just had a baby daughter, so I was congratulating him. He just told me, ‘Go and enjoy time with your son and we’ll see where it goes from here.’ We gave each other mutual respect after the fight.”
The tight nature of the contest is not the only factor that is driving Khan’s desire for a second meeting with his rival from Auckland MMA.
Though he showed some quality technical striking to counter Ting’s aggressive approach, he recognizes many fans’ expectations were not met, and that is something he wants to put right.
“I didn’t entertain a lot of the fans, some people think I let them down, so I just want to prove to people who think that I’m just trying to run away from the fight or that I’m scared of him, that it’s not the case. I want the chance to prove myself again,” he adds.
He also says that he is happy to travel to Ting’s turf and face him in Kuala Lumpur, following “ET’s” trip to “The Lion City” last week.
Even if he does not have the advantage of entering the Circle with the backing of his home support, he is confident he will get his hand raised again with a trademark display.
“This first match, I felt comfortable with him, I felt his power and everything so the next round, it’s just on me to be more offensive, and not be on my back foot,” he says.
“I will be looking to put the pressure on him the next time around.”