The nation of Myanmar celebrated as its world champion Aung La “Burmese Python” N Sang defied the odds — and two full weight classes — to defeat four-time Muay Thai and Kickboxing heavyweight world champion Alain “The Panther” Ngalani after an epic battle.
The pair faced off in an historic Open Weight Super-Bout, as the ONE Middleweight World Champion stepped up to face a heavy-handed heavyweight contender from Hong Kong in the main event of ONE: HERO’S DREAM in Yangon’s Thuwunna Indoor Stadium.
It was a victory for persistence in the face of overwhelming odds, as Myanmar’s Aung La N Sang tried three times to force hulking heavyweight Ngalani to submit, finally succeeding on his third attempt.
Despite Ngalani’s prodigious knockout power, Aung La N Sang stood in front of his opponent, and opened the bout by landing early with two big overhand rights that seemed to surprise the heavyweight. Aung La N Sang then looked to close the distance and drag the bigger man to the mat, but the Cameroon-born Ngalani was alert and able to reverse the position, ending up on top.
The big heavyweight tried to use his sheer bulk to sap the strength of the “Burmese Python” on the mat, but roared on by the Yangon crowd, the local favorite managed to tie up Ngalani and prevent him from doing any damage with ground strikes.
Despite having his back to the ground for nearly the entire opening three minutes of the round, Aung La N Sang managed to battle his way back to his feet, and with the crowd on its feet, locked in a deep guillotine choke that briefly looked like it had “The Panther” in trouble. However, Ngalani used every one of his bulging muscles to power out of the hold.
Recognizing his grappling superiority despite fighting from his back, Aung La N Sang then swiftly transitioned immediately into an armbar, but once again, Ngalani broke free. While the submission attempts of Aung La N Sang were unsuccessful in finishing the match on the first two occasions, the Myanmar hero had already seen enough to tell him the finish was there, and he made no mistake when he went for a third attempt.
With Ngalani visibly tiring from the constant close-quarters grappling, the “Burmese Python” worked his way back to his feet once again, and locked up another guillotine choke from the standing position before dragging his opponent down to the mat. Much like his moniker, he squeezed and applied pressure, forcing the heavyweight knockout artist to tap the mat in submission.
The victory sent the crowd inside the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium into raptures, as Myanmar’s first and only world champion overcame the odds to score a stunning win on an unforgettable night in Yangon.
After his victory, Aung La N Sang addressed the crowd, saying: “This is amazing. Thank you, Myanmar. I love you. I do this because I love you guys.”
Aung La N Sang’s stunning victory takes his career record to 21-10 (1 No Contest), and both men will now return to their respective weight classes. Ngalani will undoubtedly seek to continue his quest for the ONE Heavyweight World Title, while Aung La N Sang remains steadfast in building a remarkable legacy for himself and his nation in the middleweight division.