I’m lucky enough to be joined Ev “Evil” Ting as he is deep into fight week!
#TheUW – Hi Ev, thanks heaps for agreeing to catch up with me ahead of your big fight this weekend! How are you feeling? How was your fight-camp?
Hi UW! I always feel notorious and ready to f shit up at fight week! [laughs] Fight camp was great I got a productive 8 weeks in. I finished off all my hard strength and conditioning programme and top quality sparring in Auckland then finished off my cardio & weight-cut and worked on a couple of techniques in Malaysia.
#TheUW – Tell everyone at home a little about yourself. Where did you grow up?
I was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and my whole family migrated to Auckland when I was 6 with me being the ‘youngest spoilt one’. When I was 19 I started reseaching what was around Auckland and I found out that Auckland MMA was just down the road from where I lived.
#TheUW – What a feeling to fight in your home town!
#TheUW – You fight out of Auckland MMA and are a great ambassador for them and New Zealand and a role model to young fighters throughout Oceania! What do you think it means to be a role-model as a modern day MMA fighter and what would you say to any youngsters who have maybe seen MMA on TV and want to know more about it?
Don’t let negativity or the artificial things in life stop you from achieving greatness and chasing your dreams. Only you yourself can make things happen if you tune your mind and actions to the winning frequency.
Transition from an amateur to a pro fighter ain’t easy man. The financial side of things suck. You feel like you need to sell your soul sometimes to make a buck although out of all sports this is one I signed up for to prevent that shit. So holla at me, sponsors! Please.
#TheUW – Coming off a 1st round stoppage in your OneFC debut, how does it feel to have that one under your belt and in the books? I know it had been a little while since you had been in a cage for a while, what was the adjustment like getting back in there? Were there any ‘OneFC jitters’?
It was obviously a great relief to know I can compete at the top level. Not [quite] UFC level, yet.. but getting there! I think I’ve gotten to a stage in my career that nerves and jitters are the norm and I just gotta step in that cage like a God and do what I train for.
#TheUW – You really show-cased your striking in that last fight and seemed to cement an advantage early in the round and then stayed collected and used your composure and precision to finish him. How did that feel to get to the big stage and execute so effectively?
He actually offended me in the pre-fight interviews saying my striking was ‘garbage’. Therefore I was determined to put on a striking clinic on his face, with respect.
#TheUW – Tell me about Auckland MMA. Who’s in the stable there with you and what are you guys achieving out there?
Auckland MMA is a fast growing gym with a lot of talented fighters coming and going. The loyal ones however stay low key but are ready to throw down whenever people agree to sign the contracts! I’m talking about names such as Ina Manase, Cameron, John Brewin, TNT Boggy, and a few fitness machines up and comers, we also have a team of ninja BJJ practitioners that keep me sharp when I roll.
Of course all under the guidance of Master Hamish and Van Do.
#TheUW – As a fighter who is still young and working towards your prime, who do you hold as your own role models both in and out of the cage?
All time will be Fedor!
Current will be the likes of Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, Jose “Scarface” Aldo Jr and Benson Henderson even before they were champions!
Locally will be Mark Hunt and my bro Dan “The Hangman” Hooker.
Read my full interview with Dan “The Hangman” Hooker.
#TheUW – There’s been a lot of talk internationally about the practise of cutting weight and a couple of fighters in other big promotions were stripped of title-shots because of unsafe weight-cuts. What are your thoughts on it?
Weight cutting sucks. As we speak I am 4 kgs down of my 6.5kg water cut. [I was] 14kgs [heavier] 3 weeks ago. This sucks. I rather KO my next opponent with a filled tummy than an empty one you know? I’m not even sure [whether] it’s worth that little bit of weight advantage in the cage..
I may have to do more weights and move up a division in the near future, especially when my body starts telling me off!
#TheUW – Ok, so OneFC has an awesome roster and really can boast some of the top talent in the MMA world. How does it feel to be a part of it and have your name in lights along with those guys who are at the top of the game?
It is a great honour. The growth of ONE FC and also MMA in Malaysia is outstanding and is on par with UFC in America. This is coming from Americans who have been around the UFC!
So I am definitely lucky to have networked with some people and jumping on opportunities an embracing my lifestyle.
#TheUW – This has really been a year for kiwi-fighters getting their names out there in the MMA world with a bunch of fighters in the UFC and other promotions including yourself. What’s it like knowing that if you have the skill and will to do so, even a fighter like yourself from New Zealand can make that push for a spot in the limelight and do you feel any pressure representing Aotearoa?
Aotearoa fighters are super under-rated. If I can do it, everyone can do it, it just sucks we don’t have big sponsors back home.
Besides a lot of promotions know about NZ fighters, it is just not feasible to fly us to beat up their golden boys [smiles]
#TheUW – What is some alternative training for you and the Auckland MMA crew? What do you do on a typical “gym escape”?
Some will have their normal commercial gym routines including myself. However we like to mix it up with our Kamikaze S&C Trainer Makoto Endo.
Besides that I add in some swimming and track days coming up to fights.
#TheUW – You’re fighting Edward “The Rock” Kelly tomorrow, in the place your were born. He’s coming of the 1st ever loss of his career which he suffered in his OneFC debut. Having lost yourself, what do you think a loss can teach a fighter? Do you think there’s any truth to the old saying “what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”?
That is definitely true that you learn more and become stronger off a loss.
No one wants to lose twice so the motivation will be high. Especially witnessing his brother win a $50k bonus and now have started a gym together in the Philippines.
However, it will not be enough to put me away in my birth town!
#TheUW – Ok, so if anyone wants to keep up with you and what you’re up to leading up to Fridays fight and beyond, how do they do it?
#TheUW – Any last words? 😀
I miss you NZ!!
#TheUW – Thank you Ev!! Good luck tomorrow 🙂