Japanese legend Shinya Aoki (left) and the highly pumped EV Ting. -Pix credit: ONE Championship

BANGKOK, THAILAND: It’s not going to be easy, but Malaysian-New Zealand martial arts star Ev “E.T” Ting has his mind set on a first-round finish when he finally gets into the fight cage with martial arts legend, Shinya Aoki (41-8) come ONE: KINGDOM OF HEROES on Oct 6, 2018.

Ting, the 29-year-old (16-4) ONE Championship lightweight martial artist, is convinced that the 35-year-old legend from Shizuoka, Japan will find it tough to handle his variety of striking and will end the night at Bangkok’s Impact Arena with his ninth career defeat.

Confidence lacing his voice, Ting said: “He’s got to get past my striking, hug me and take me down. Without a doubt, Aoki will try and take me down, but there’s a few things he must get past if he wants to bring me to the ground.”

Adding, Ting, who’s potentially just one win away from his second shot at ONE Championship’s lightweight gold, said: “He’s coming fresh off two first round finishes and people are saying he’s getting old, but this guy is no joke. You can’t take him lightly and must train for the best version possible. I know he will touch gloves and straight go for a takedown attempt, but I’m going to attack, strike and retire the legend in the first round!”

A closer look at his opponent’s eight defeats in his 15-year mixed martial arts career shows that five of his eight losses came inside the first five minutes of an exchange.

In November last year, the Evolve MMA fighter nicknamed “Tobikan Judan” (The Grand Master of Flying Submissions) was at the receiving end of Ben Askren’s fists, while a year earlier his reign as ONE Championship’s lightweight champion came to an end in similar fashion against the Philippines’ Eduard Folayang.

Prior to that, his last first round defeat came against Eddie Alvarez inside 2:14 of round one in 2012.

Despite suggesting that he could put an end to the battle inside the first round, Ting is quick to acknowledge his opponent’s credentials, which he conceded, truly does speak for itself.

The biggest moment for Ting came in the third round, when he floored Ando with a huge knee, sealing the decision victory on the judges’ scorecards. - Pix credit: ONE Championship

Said Ting, modestly: “He’s a legend who has been in the game for the past 15 years. His credential speaks for itself; nearly 30 of his 40 wins came by way of submission.”

He’s not called the submission wizard for no reason, added Ting of his opponent, but the Malaysian striking specialist does believe that he’s a much more complete athlete today.

“I feel like I can take the fight anywhere I want it to go. I can stand, surprise him or wrestle him… in short, I think it’s my time and these guys are fading away.”

Ev Ting emerges victorious against Japan's Koji Ando at ONE Pinnacle of Power showcase in June. - Pix credit: ONE Championship

The Bali MMA and Auckland MMA martial artist shared that his last two duels against Koji Ando and Ariel Sexton have given him a better understanding of how to deal with someone who is a good ground threat and can mix up different forms of martial arts brilliantly.

Said Ting in conclusion: “In Ariel Sexton and Koji Ando, I fought two fighters who can mix their style so much better and I respect that a lot. Aoki is more one-dimensional and I’m ready for the best version of himself that has ever existed.”

Meanwhile, earlier today ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong said that Amir Khan will battle Eduard Folayang on Nov 23, 2018 in Manila for the ONE Lightweight World title.

The winner of the Aoki-Ting battle will go toe-to-toe with the champion - whoever that may be - in Tokyo next year when ONE Championship makes its exciting debut in the Land of the Rising Sun, Japan.

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