A fighter’s hunger
Malaysian/Kiwi martial arts star and one of the world’s best lightweights, Ev ‘E.T.’ Ting could have called home with some great news if only he’d kept to his script, writes Intan Maizura Ahmad Kamal
DARKNESS. And just like that, the boisterous roar of the crowd is silenced. The neon strobe lights above the ring no longer danced. Tum tum.Tumtum.Theonlysoundtopiercethestillness in the cavernous Impact Arena in Bangkok is that of the pounding of the heart. Thousands of hearts. Anxiousandwonderingwhetherthefallengladiatorinthe striking red shorts in the ring would regain consciousness.
And then... “The referee has decided to call an end to this fight ...” the booming voice of the ring announcer shatters the stunned silence. And the crowd erupts. And just like that, the much anticipated duel between Malay- sian/Kiwi fighter Ev ‘E.T.’ Ting and Japanese grappling sensation Shinya Aoki at ONE: Kingdom of Heroes showcase, is over. In just 57 seconds.
The Japanese fight veteran never gave Ting, one of ONE Championship’s (Asia’s largest sports media property) most exciting finishers, the chance to get into his strides swiftly, zooming in for a takedown. Once on top, Aoki proceeded to attack aggressively and despite Ting’s efforts to get his wits about him, the Japanese was able to successfully execute an arm-triangle choke (a blood choke submission that leaves the opponent strangled between their own shoulder and your arm.
This choke takes just moments to take effect because of its ability to cut off the blood flow on both sides of the neck) which he held onto until the Malaysian was out cold.
As the dazed-looking Ting finds himself surrounded by the referee and concerned officials, the 35-year-old Aoki is already in the upper rafters of the stands, celebrating his victory with his jubilant fans.
Meanwhile, from my lonely perch by the ringside, I could only look on in despair, completely flabbergasted by the turn of events.
Now why couldn’t Ting have just followed the script that he’d confidently ran by me just hours earlier in the vibrant lobby of a Bangkok hotel where we’d met for a pre-fight