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Ev Ting says bout with Ariel Sexton will decide a true number-one contender

Lightweight star plans on cementing his No.1 contender status with victory over Ariel Sexton in Myanmar

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ONE Championship

Malaysian contender Ev Ting returns to action at ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD with a mission reflected in the title of the event itself.

Ting takes on Canadian Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton in a battle of lightweight contenders on Friday 23 February at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

And the 28-year-old Malaysian star – who has already challenged for the title once – is ready to make an impact once again as he bids to earn another shot at the title.

“The lightweight division is stacked, and there are a lot of people lining up,” he said.

“Ariel is a game BJJ black belt, and he has competed against pretty much the other half of the division, so facing him would be a great unification, in a way, to show that we are the true contenders, and should be right up there in contention for a title shot.”

Ting challenged for the title back at ONE: KINGS OF DESTINY last April when he lost out to then-champion Eduard Folayang via unanimous decision.

Losing out on the scorecards is always frustrating, but Ting has been able to put the disappointment of that loss behind him.

“I am definitely at peace with the loss now,” he said.

“I made some mistakes, and I should have stuck to a basic sequence and focused on that. But it is all part of the journey, and it has made me a better character since then.

“In some ways, it is a blessing in disguise. It just was not my time, and I feel when it is my time, it will be much more rewarding.”

Ting bounced back with victory over former ONE Welterweight Champion Nobuatsu Suzuki at ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS, finishing him with strikes in the opening round to announce his return to form in eye-catching fashion.

“Nobody apart from me and Ben Askren has been able to do that to Suzuki,” Ting stated.

“I consider that a good win, and it should put me in a position to face another top contender and further develop my career.”

That’s exactly what Ting’s been handed at ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD. Sexton, like Ting, is a dangerous contender in the lightweight division. The Canadian is riding a three-bout win streak that includes finishes of veteran campaigners Eddie Ng and Roger Huerta. Now, after a

year out of action, he’s back in ONE Championship and has his sights on gold.

It should all add up to a highly-competitive matchup and result in a legitimate contender to move forward towards a title shot.

“There will be some traffic jams in the division, but absolutely I consider us the top lightweights in the world to be competing for this title shot,” he said.

“It is a big match, and I am sure the fans will be tuning in for this.

“There is a lot of credit there for Sexton, but I feel like I am just that much sharper, and it is my time to take what’s mine.”

Interview by ONE Championship. Story by Simon Head.

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 20 years’ experience in the UK's national media covering major sporting events including UFC world title fights, Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, Grand National and the FA Cup Final.

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