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What's Next For The Biggest Winners Of ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS?

October 27, 2018

ONE Championship’s final promotional event in Yangon, Myanmar for 2018 certainly lived up to the hype.

This past Friday, 26 October, ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS sent shockwaves of excitement throughout the iconic Thuwunna Indoor Stadium.

The atmosphere was electrifying as gold confetti rained down on ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang following his astonishing first-round TKO victory.

It was not just Myanmar’s national treasure who had an amazing night, however. Throughout the evening, there were other great warriors who prevailed against the notable names in Asian martial arts.

Let’s take a look at what could be next for the biggest winners from ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS.

Aung La N Sang

The Burmese Python brings the house down with a sensational TKO of Mohammad Karaki at 2:21 of Round 1!

Aung La Nsang(Burmese Python) brings the house down with a sensational TKO of Mohammad Karaki at 2:21 of Round 1!TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, October 26, 2018

Aung La N Sang has looked absolutely phenomenal in 2018.

He won the vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship in a record-setting performance this past February, and then successfully defended his middleweight crown four months later in a match that was named “The Greatest Bout In ONE Championship History.”

“The Burmese Python” authored another sensational performance in front of his countrymen last night, as he made quick work of erstwhile-unbeaten powerhouse Mohammed “O Lutador” Karaki. That victory also gave him the record for most finishes in ONE middleweight history at five.

In a contest many pundits expected to be his most difficult assignment to date due to his challenger’s outstanding curriculum vitae, Aung La N Sang made it look easy. He overwhelmed the Lebanese athlete en route to a first-round TKO.

While he has triumphantly faced all-comers, a possible opponent on the horizon comes in the form of heavyweight kingpin Brandon “The Truth” Vera.

Vera, who is set to defend his ONE Heavyweight World Title against Mauro “The Hammer” Cerilli at ONE: CONQUEST OF CHAMPIONS in Manila, Philippines on Friday, 23 November, recently unveiled his intentions of moving down a division to challenge Aung La N Sang for his gold-plated strap.

If the Filipino overcomes Cerilli next month, a potential World Champion versus World Champion match-up with “The Burmese Python” could take place at the organization’s inaugural event in Tokyo, Japan in March 2019.

“The Truth” has had a longstanding dream to compete in “The Land Of The Rising Sun” and become a two-division World Champion. Should he beat the Italian, he will be one step closer to bringing his dreams to life.

Keanu Subba

Keanu Subba makes a HUGE statement in the featherweight division, submitting Phoe Thaw with a guillotine choke at 2:47 of Round 1!

Keanu Subba makes a HUGE statement in the featherweight division, submitting Phoe Thaw with a guillotine choke at 2:47 of Round 1!TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, October 26, 2018

Following 11 months of inactivity, Keanu Subba restarted his climb back to the upper echelon of the featherweight division with a first-round submission win over China’s “White Dragon” Xie Chao this past July.

At ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS, the Malaysian standout once again proved he is a legitimate contender, as he beat previously undefeated Myanmar star Phoe “Bushido” Thaw.

With his bout against Phoe Thaw serving as the event’s co-featured attraction, Subba did not disappoint under the bright lights. He submitted the local favorite with a deep guillotine choke in the opening round.

Now riding high on a two-bout win streak and looking to elevate his status in ONE’s featherweight bracket, the Kuala Lumpur native could find himself matched up with Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly or Tetsuya Yamada next.

Kelly has won two of his three outings this year, including a jaw-dropping 21-second knockout victory over Cambodia’s Meas Meul in January.

On the other hand, Yamada has won two consecutive matches — notching a first-round submission conquest of Kelly’s older brother Eric in May, and then toppling Brazil’s Rafael Nunes a month and a half later.

A bout against either man will help Subba in bolstering his standing in a full-on featherweight shark tank.

Masakazu Imanari

Japanese legend Masakazu Imanari ends it QUICK with a slick armbar on Radeem Rahman at 1:23 of Round 1!

Japanese legend Masakazu Imanari ends it QUICK with a slick armbar on Radeem Rahman at 1:23 of Round 1! Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, October 26, 2018

Japanese grappling wizard Masakazu “Ashikan Judan” Imanari turned back the clock at ONE: PURSUIT OF GREATNESS, drawing shades of his vintage form in his spectacular victory over Radeem Rahman. 

Revered by many due to his scintillating submission finishes in his illustrious mixed martial arts career, Imanari put on a grappling clinic and coerced the Singaporean to surrender with a straining armbar in 83 seconds.

After securing his 26th submission victory, and 37th overall, the Tokyo-based leg lock legend has a load of options for his next bout.

The great thing about ONE’s bantamweight division is that there is no shortage of talent. That weight class houses exceptional competitors such as former World Title challenger Leandro “Brodinho” Issa and unbeaten warrior Daichi Takenaka.

Both Issa and Takenaka have different areas of grappling expertise, which would make for fascinating ground battles against a submission wizard like Imanari.

Luis Santos

Luis Santos finishes Daichi Abe with a CRUSHING liver kick at 0:33 of Round 1!

Luis Santos finishes Daichi Abe with a CRUSHING liver kick at 0:33 of Round 1! Watch the full event LIVE & FREE on the ONE Super App http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, October 26, 2018

Former ONE Welterweight World Title challenger Luis “Sapo” Santos remarkably placed himself back on the winning track by knocking out promotional debutant Daichi Abe in 33 seconds.

Known for his tremendous striking power, the Brazilian pulverized the Japanese newcomer with thunderous body kicks to clinch the fastest victory in ONE welterweight history.

With a stirring KO against a premier talent like Abe, “Sapo” finds himself once again in the thick of the title hunt.

Santos has a litany of choices for his next contest, including fellow former World Title challenger Agilan “Alligator” Thani and ONE Warrior Series alumnus “Crazy Dog” Dae Song Park. Both contests would provide the 38-year-old with a chance to face some of the division’s young lions. 

A submission-savvy martial artist like Thani poses a fascinating test for the well-rounded Brazilian, which would conceivably serve as a title eliminator. Meanwhile, pitting Santos against Park would be an exhilarating display of two fierce warriors with fan-friendly combat styles.