Ev Ting Unfazed With Monstrous Challenge Posed by Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev

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ONE lightweight athlete Ev “E.T” Ting knows a thing or two about how to use his legs and feet, just ask some of the opponents he’s left in his wake.

The stand-up specialist has done plenty of damage with his lethal kicks during his years atop the division’s elite, a strength borne of his previous life as a stand-out footballer growing up in his native New Zealand.

The 29-year-old was was a star at youth level and was named captain of both his high school and club teams.

“I grew up playing football,” said Ting. “But once I left school I moved suburbs a couple of times and I got a little bit isolated. But I still love a game of football or even rugby.”

Like many Brazilians before him, Ting leveraged his skills on the pitch into his abilities as a striker, particularly with his arsenal of kicks.

“The foot dexterity – being more well versed with your foot,” Ting says. “Football in some ways definitely helped me.

“But martial arts is limitless- there are so many movements to master, not that you’d ever master everything.”

Ting will be looking to put those skills to good use in Singapore next weekend at ONE: Call to Greatness when he takes on Dagestani Saygid “Dagi” Guseyn Arslanaliev in the quarter-finals of the ONE Lightweight World Grand Prix.

The 24-year-old is one of the division’s rising stars – a Brazilian jiu-jitsu champion with a decorated background in the art of wushu.

“Dagi” has recorded consecutive stoppage wins in his brief ONE tenure to date – including an upset knock-out in his most recent bout against hard-nosed Russian Timofey Nastyukhin.

Ting is well aware of the threat Arslanaliev poses but identifies one area where he believes he has a key advantage.

“Experience. I’ve been training hard and I feel like I have more ring time and cage time, hopefully I can drag him into the deep waters,” says Ting.

The Auckland MMA-product has 21 professional bouts to his name in a career dating back to 2011, while his opponent has taken to the cage on just seven occasions.

“He’s dangerous, well rounded, and explosive. He’s very tough, but that’s just like any opponent — they’re all tough.”

Grinding right through the Christmas period, Ting has been working on refining his ground game at renowned Bali MMA in preparation for Arslanaliev’s challenge, and has complete confidence that he’ll be able to hold his own wherever the contest may lead.

“I missed out on all Christmas and new years but I’m glad we got through it and I’m healthy and ready to go. Feel like I’ve put in all the work, so it’s just a matter of unleashing it now and showcasing it to the world.”

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