Marat Gafurov vs Ev Ting

Marat Gafurov vs Ev Ting

Ev Ting will fight for one of the most important and toughest fights in his career on the 22nd of May, at Singapore Indoor Stadium. This is for the Number one Contender spot for the ONE FC featherweight championship. The only man in his way is the Russian Dagestan juggernaut; Marat Gafurov, who is undefeated, and like Ev Ting finished his last opponent off with a spectacular submission.

Before they go into battle, we want to know a bit more about Ev Ting, so we got an interview with him on Fight week.

You’re Malaysian born, and lived in New Zealand, what was it like growing up here in New Zealand? When you fight, do you ever feel a strong pride to represent this country, as well as your Asian background?

It is an honour to be able to represent both my Asian roots and my Kiwi upbringing. I always have the desire to represent with a strong pride when I am on any platform. 

How did your parents feel when you told them that you wanted to pursue a career in Mixed Martial Arts? 

For the first couple of years they thought it was like karate/judo style katas with not so much impact on contact. Once some videos started going public they expressed their concerns and risks. But once they understand the sport and that there are risks anywhere they are now my number 1 supporters. Love you Mum & Dad :) 

What was it like in the beginning of your career here in New Zealand, and how did you get into fighting for HK’s Legends FC (inactive) along with NZ fighters Daniel Hooker, and Dan Digby?

At the time I was not as decorated as Hooker and Digby. However, an opportunity came on 6 days notice against a tough Phil-Am superstar Mark Streigl. I was down in the Coromandel with a corona in one hand when I got the call. Although the outcome was my first loss of my career, it had opened up many doors for me including Legends FC, ONE FC, contracts and coaching work in Asia. 

How has the fight scene in New Zealand changed for you over the years, in terms of training and the growth of mixed martial arts in this country, are there more opportunities than there were before?

The New Zealand fight scene is driven on pure talent, passion and love. I have learned a lot if not all my mental approaches and skills from NZ. It is unfortunate that the opportunities in NZ aren’t that bright and the transition between part time to full time (pro) fighter is a luxury. Corporations/Sponsors need to see the sport from another light and not be biased on rugby. Ultimately, flourishing the benefits of martial arts.

It's great to see the likes of Nyra Phillips, Karl Webber, Neil Swailes, Hamish Robertson, Chris Easley, Aaron Boyes, Matt Toa, Jason Vorster give back to the sport here on our home soil. 

Are you still training with Auckland MMA, or are you training at Saigon Sports Club Ho Chi Minh City? 

For my last two fight camps, I have spent my time here at Saigon Sports Club training with a diverse team of world-class competitors. However, my coach Hamish Robertson comes to help me peak in the final stages of each of my camps.

We saw you in the corner of Dan Hooker’s fight at the UFC in Adelaide. Iron sharpens iron, what is it like having Dan as a training partner, will he be in your corner this coming fight?

I consider Dan as one of my mentors as he was there from day one beating me up in training. We would meet up and travel to each other’s gyms to train with each other once we made it on the international level. And yes we have been in each other’s corner for both our last fights and he will be in my corner for my upcoming one this weekend also. 

Since joining ONE FC you have gone on a three fight-winning streak finishing all your opponents in spectacular fashion. What do you think was the reason for your success? 

I believe my reason for success is my hunger for success and that I do not have a Plan B for my lifestyle and career at this stage. 

Can you give us some insight on how you are preparing in training camp? Do you train for a particular opponent, focusing on certain aspects and weaknesses that you can exploit, or do you train without a game plan, focusing more on just perfecting all your skill sets? 

I am always focusing on my overall game, whatever session or drill I will advance it and incorporate it to my game. Also training with high-level guys here during my fight camps also helps. No game plans, I create and adapt to situations in the cage. 

Leading up to this big fight, with the reward of big title contentions, what are the feelings and stress that you have to go through leading up to this fight week? How do you deal with the pressures and media obligations?

The only pressure, as always, is the doubt of being able to perform to my best ability. However that doubt disappears closer I get into the cage and media will be media, haha. 

With ONE FC growing more and more popular around Asia, and around the world, they have had shows in Malaysia, Singapore, and even Dubai. What advice would you give New Zealand fighters like yourself to get into an organization like this?  What is it like fighting around the world?

Train smart, stay focused, surround yourself with like minded people/team, then up-skill yourself so you know how to communicate. 

It is a true blessing to be able to travel the world doing something I love. I have also just paid off my overdraft from fighting... Some would say I am living the dream but I see it as my projected reality. 

Thank you New Zealand Fighter
RedRat Clothing - KiwiSwag apparel check them out!
Culleys - Best hot sauce in the world
Nutratech - Best Supplements sourced from NZ
Auckland MMA - For crafting me into the fighter I am today

Special thanks to my fans!

Glad to be published on NZ media outlets thought people forgot bout my work.

Posted by Ev Ting on Wednesday, May 20, 2015
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