Aung La N Sang has set the standard for martial arts in Myanmar.
“The Burmese Python” has inspired his home nation with a series of outstanding victories since he arrived in ONE Championship in 2014.
He has never backed down from a challenge, and his warrior spirit has taken him to unprecedented achievements as the ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion.
On Friday, 29 June, the 33-year-old will defend his middleweight belt for the first time at ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR, and will do so in his home country.
Before Aung La N Sang faces top-ranked Japanese middleweight Ken Hasegawa at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, check out some of his most captivating finishes yet.
A Perfect First Impression
Though he has become a regular main event attraction in ONE’s Myanmar shows, Aung La N Sang made his promotional debut in Jakarta, Indonesia, at ONE: ERA OF CHAMPIONS in June 2014.
His opponent, Egypt’s Mahmoud Salama, offered a huge challenge due to his immense strength and aggression.
Sure enough, “The Burmese Python” found himself with his back on the mat, when his opponent reversed a takedown in the opening moments of the contest.
However, Aung La N Sang showed composure under pressure, as he adjusted his posture to get the perfect leverage for a sweep. As he moved to top position, he immediately took full mount.
From there, the Myanmar hero immediately unloaded clinical ground and pound to force the referee to step in.
The match was called off almost as soon as the salvo had begun – after just 66 seconds.
Defeating The Undefeated
Aung La N Sang’s third assignment in the ONE cage presented him with one of the toughest challenges of his career.
Aleksei Butorin offered an imposing challenge at ONE: DYNASTY OF CHAMPIONS (HEFEI) in July 2016. Coming into the bout with a spotless 10-0 record and a 100 percent finishing rate, he was a huge threat to “The Burmese Python.”
In the first round, the Russian demonstrated why he was so dangerous – he reversed a takedown attempt, and then relentlessly attacked the Myanmar hero, who defended admirably.
The second stanza was a different story, however. Aung La N Sang was finally able to let loose on his feet, and use his striking to wear Butorin down.
When the time came to take the contest to the mat, the Myanmar hero scored with a decisive takedown, and then made another seamless transition.
This time, “The Burmese Python” quickly secured an arm-triangle choke, which allowed him to live up to his moniker by squeezing tightly.
The result was a successful submission, with the tap coming at 1:57 of round two.
A Colossal Challenge
After Aung La N Sang defeated Vitaly Bigdash in June 2017 to become the ONE Middleweight World Champion, his challenge got bigger – literally.
For his next test, he faced one of the heavyweight division’s most explosive athletes – four-time Muay Thai and Kickboxing Heavyweight World Champion Alain “The Panther” Ngalani.
The match-up at ONE: HERO’S DREAM last November was the organization’s first Open Weight Super-Bout. To earn victory, “The Burmese Python” would have to avoid his opponent’s world-class striking, incredible knockout power, and find a way not to be outmuscled in the grappling exchanges.
Ngalani tried to make his size count in the opening stages of the contest, but it was his opponent’s superior skill that won the day.
As he was pushed against the fence, Aung La N Sang grabbed a guillotine choke and jumped into guard to show off his squeeze once again.
“The Panther” submitted at the 4:31 mark of round one, triggering raptures of celebration from a roaring capacity crowd at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium.
A Career-Defining Performance
With one belt in the bag and a huge feather in his cap, Aung La N Sang’s next bout was another opportunity to make headlines in his homeland.
The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt arguably possessed the most dangerous submission skills “The Burmese Python” had ever encountered.
For that reason, the game plan for Aung La N Sang was simple – stay on his feet, and attack with strikes. It was a strategy that worked to perfection, and possibly more quickly than anyone from his team had hoped.
After just 56 seconds, Aung La N Sang unleashed a right head kick, which found its mark, crashing through the hulking Brazilian’s guard.
Machado fell, and the Myanmar warrior’s follow-up punches finished the job. It was the fastest victory in the light heavyweight division’s history.
The national hero had earned his second World Title and cemented his status – as if there was any doubt – as his nation’s greatest-ever martial artist.
Yangon | 29 June | LIVE and FREE on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast