Former ONE Lightweight World Title challenger Koji “The Commander” Ando will take on Malaysian contender Ev “E.T.” Ting in a battle of contenders at ONE: PINNACLE OF POWER.
Japanese veteran Ando, 33, says he knows he is up against one of the toughest competitors in ONE Championship’s talent-filled lightweight division on Saturday, 23 May.
However, he knows a win will re-establish his credentials as a bonafide World Title threat.
“I feel a little bit of pressure, but I am not that concerned about it,” he explains.
“A victory would mean another chance to build on my career as a top contender.”
Ando’s introduction to ONE Championship was a spectacular one, as he registered back-to-back stoppage victories to book himself into a lightweight title match against Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki.
He ultimately fell short in that contest, as he lost out on the scorecards, but he bounced back well with a superb win over Roger Huerta.
Just when it seemed like Ando was building momentum towards another title shot, he lost back-to-back contests. His most recent setback came against Russian striker Timofey Nastyukhin.
The bout was close, but the unanimous decision was not in “The Commander’s” favour.
That bout was back in August 2017, and now Ando will return to try and improve his lot with an impressive display against Ting.
“I do not really feel like I lost that one, but I think perhaps I could have gone on the attack a little earlier,” he says, looking back at his loss to Nastyukhin.
“I was not able to perform at the level I am capable of.”
After that defeat, Ando returned to Never Quit MMA & Fitness Gym to sharpen his approach. Now, he feels he is ready to match the dangerous Malaysian-Kiwi contender.
“Ting is very well-rounded. I have to watch out for his kicks and his submissions,” he says.
“If I am able to perform up to my true abilities, he should present no problems for me.”
Bubbling with confidence after addressing his game, Ando sounds like he is ready to make a statement against Ting.
If he can make good on his prediction, “The Commander” could find himself back in the mix for another shot at the gold later this year.