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

New Straits Times - - SUNDAY VIBES -

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

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