Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang truly defines what it means to be a great world champion.
The proud holder of both the ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Championships, the 32-year-old Myanmar sports icon truly embodies the spirit of martial arts. Besides being immensely skilled, he is kind, humble, and compassionate, and constantly works to bring about change for the greater good.
Here are five solid reasons why Aung La N Sang is a true World Champion in many more ways than ONE.
#1 He Is Skilled In All Areas
Aung La N Sang is the rare type of martial artist who has truly elite talent in multiple areas of the game.
The Myanmar sports icon is an explosive striker with knockout power in both his hands and feet, and is constantly learning new techniques to enhance his stand-up game. Also, he is a terrific grappler who can submit opponents, and completely shut down their ground attack if necessary, depending on his game plan.
Furthermore, he is determined to continue improving. Aung La N Sang constantly sharpens his tools, whether it is at his home gym Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts in Maryland, or other facilities he visits, like the nearby Lloyd Irvin Mixed Martial Arts Academy, or Hard Knox 365 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
#2 He Constantly Seeks New Challenges
Aung La N Sang could have remained within the confines of the middleweight division after dethroning then-unbeaten kingpin Vitaly Bigdash for the ONE Middleweight World Title in June 2016.
That is not his style, however, which was apparent when “The Burmese Python” accepted an Open Weight Super-Bout with heavyweight knockout artist Alain “The Panther” Ngalani later that November.
Three months after that victory, he moved up in weight to face Brazil’s Alexandre “Bebezao” Machado for the vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship, and knocked the Brazilian out in less than a minute to claim the belt.
It is no question that Aung La N Sang wants to defend both of his world titles and his legacy, and it is clear he will never turn down a good challenge.
#3 He Aspires To Inspire
By constantly taking on bigger opposition and defying the odds, Aung La N Sang is inspiring his home country, and the world
He already made history as Myanmar’s first world champion in sports when he defeated Bigdash last year, and after each victory, he thanks the local fans for the strength given to him, and encourages every one to be the best they can be.
“I cannot do this without you, Myanmar,” he said following his victory over Bigdash. “I’m not talented. I’m not good. I’m not fast. But with you, I have courage, I have strength, I have what I need to win the world title!”
In a way, when he overcomes bigger challenges like the aforementioned Ngalani and Machado, he is serving as a role model for tackling adversity and challenges head on, and showcases the rewards that dedication and hard work brings.
#4 He Embodies Martial Arts Values
Ever since he was a young boy, Aung La N Sang has always possessed strong morals and values. He remains incredibly humble and kind despite all that he has accomplished, and he aways takes the time to speak to his fans.
“The Burmese Python” looked to his father as his ultimate inspiration, a man who worked tirelessly in the country’s jade production and trade industry. His father was not formally educated, but was fluent in seven different languages, and worked hard to support his family. He has followed that example all his life.
Aung La N Sang also listened to his dad’s advice. “He would always tells me that you should always remember your roots, you should always remember where you came from, and you should always help out.”
That advice has been central to the hero’s life, and has helped driven him to make a positive change in Myanmar. Additionally, he shows the utmost sportsmanship and compassion to his adversaries, as he often embraces them following his bouts, and thanks them for the opportunity to test his skills.
#5 He Is A Man Of The People
Aung La N Sang represents the people of Myanmar, and takes great pride in that. He genuinely wants play a part in helping his country.
“The change I can make is by doing the best I can in the cage, being a good ambassador, being a good human being, and leading by example,” said the national icon.
He has been doing just that. Not only is he shaping the new generation of martial artists at Crazy 88 MMA, but he conducts martial arts seminars in Myanmar, donates money from charity auctions, and serves as a ONE Global Citizen Ambassador who visits causes like the myME project.