ONE Championship returns with another martial arts blockbuster this coming Friday, 23 February, with ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.
With martial arts exploding all across the country, Myanmar fans are excited to support their hero Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang in his bid to become a two-division ONE World Champion.
The terrifically stacked card should make for an exciting night of authentic martial arts action. Let’s take a look at three solid reasons why you should absolutely have to catch ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD.
#1 The Crowning Of A New ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion
ONE Middleweight World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sangwill look to make history. He will attempt to capture his second world title, as he takes on Brazil’s Alexandre “Bebezao” Machado for the vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship.
The light heavyweight world title was previously held by BJJ legend Roger Gracie, who has since retired from competition. Naturally, the light heavyweight division is now looking for a new king to reign, and the Myanmar hero is in prime position to be that man.
Already a huge superstar in his native Myanmar with an unprecedented rockstar following, Aung La N Sang cannot go more than a block on the streets of Yangon without getting swarmed by fans who want pictures and autographs. The atmosphere at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium is electric and completely unique, and it only intensifies when “The Burmese Python” steps foot inside the ONE cage.
Becoming a two-division ONE World Champion will only add upon Aung La N Sang’s growing legacy. In the past year, he bested previously-unbeaten titleholder Vitaly Bigdash for the ONE Middleweight World Title, and then submitted kickboxing goliath Alain “The Panther” Ngalani in the promotion’s first-ever Open Weight Super-Bout.
Obtaining another world title will not be easy, however. Machado is as credible and as capable an opponent as any, having won several championships in his native Brazil, and will definitely look to steal the thunder from the hometown hero.
#2 The Lightweight Title Picture Will Become Clearer
The lightweight division is an open book right now, with reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen preparing to challenge bantamweight king Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes for his third ONE World Title in March.
No clear-cut number one contender for the lightweight throne has emerged quite yet, but things can change after Friday.
A pair of compelling lightweight matches could clear up the title picture a little bit more. Malaysia’s Ev “E.T.” Ting will be taking on Costa Rica’s Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton, while Singapore’s Amir Khan takes on Russia’s Timofey Nastyukhin. All four lightweights are on the rise, and all are coming off incredible victories.
While names like Eduard “Landslide” Folayang and Shinya Aoki will always be considered in the upper echelon of talent at lightweight, the aforementioned quartet of athletes are on the brink of breaking into the top tier. With Nguyen preoccupied, these warriors could very well decide the next challenger this coming Friday, or in the coming months.
#3 The Evolution Of Phoe Thaw
The unbeaten featherweight has impressed in his cage career thus far. He has won his first five bouts inside the ONE cage, with four of those wins coming by knockout in the first round. Also, the lethwei striker was the the ONE Myanmar Featherweight Tournament Champion 2016.
On Friday, Phoe Thaw tests himself against international competition for the first time, as he battles Cambodia’s Sor Sey. It will be lethwei versus Kun Khmer, and the fans will be heavily supporting Yangon’s own.