“The Burmese Python” looks to make history and bring double gold to Myanmar. In his way stands formidable Brazilian bruiser, Alexandre Machado. It’s ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD.
The full card for ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD has been set.
On Friday, 23 February, ONE Championship will present an other unforgettable night of the world’s most exciting martial arts action at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.
A plethora of local heroes will showcase their skills, four of the promotion’s brightest lightweight contenders will battle it out, and the night will end with the crowning of a brand new ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion.
A New World Champion Will Be Crowned
ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang has a chance to make history once again in front of his countrymen. Myanmar’s foremost sports hero will challenge Brazil’s Alexandre “Bebezao” Machado for the vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship in the night’s main event tilt.
In June 2017, at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium, Aung La N Sang made history by besting then-undefeated Vitaly Bigdash to become the ONE Middleweight World Champion, and Myanmar’s first-ever world champion. He followed that up by returning home later in November to submit Alain “The Panther” Ngalani, in the promotion’s inaugural Open Weight Super-Bout.
Now, “The Burmese Python” has a chance to become only the second dual ONE World Champion.
Standing in his way is Machado, who has practiced Brazilian jiu-jitsu ever since he was 5 years old. The BJJ black belt has won countless titles along the way, including the Pan-American BJJ Championship. Having trained alongside legends such as the famed Nogueira brothers, he was inspired to make his cage debut in 2007.
The Rio De Janeiro, Brazil native has effortlessly applied his world-class grappling to the cage, which has led him to a commendable professional record of 8-2. Machado, a former Peru FC Heavyweight Champion, is moving down to light heavyweight to challenge for the vacant world title.
Four Lightweight Contenders Face-Off
In addition to the exciting ONE Light Heavyweight World Title headliner, the main card is stacked with a pair of enticing bouts featuring top lightweight contenders. Singapore’s Amir Khan will clash with Russia’s Timofey Nastyukhin, and Malaysia’s Ev Ting will collide with New York-based Costa Rican Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton.
Khan has become one of the organization’s fastest rising stars. The Singaporean knockout artist is on a six-bout win streak, is coming off the biggest win of his career against Adrian “The Hunter” Pang, and has set the record for most knockouts and finishes in ONE Championship history.
Finally, in August 2017, he made his highly anticipated return, defeating former lightweight world title challenger Koji Ando via unanimous decision. Nastyukhin, also known for his knockout power, should provide Khan with his stiffest test yet. In fact, the Russian holds the fastest KO in ONE history at just six astonishing seconds.
Ting is another talent who has emerged as one of the lightweight division’s most talented athletes. Despite falling short in his world title challenge to then-champion Eduard Folayang via decision in April 2017, the Malaysian bounced back in a big way. With a fresh new attitude and outlook on training, he finished former ONE Welterweight World Champion Nobutatsu Suzuki in August via TKO.
While Ting is looking to continue his ascent up the ranks, Sexton is attempting to get a world title shot with a victory over the Malaysian. “Tarzan,” as he is called, has been sidelined for the past 18 months due to several nagging injuries.
Now, the Renzo Gracie BJJ black belt is all healed up, and wants to build upon his impressive three-bout win streak. He believes a victory over Ting will get him closer to achieving his world title aspirations, and it’s not hard to see why.
Myanmar Talent Takes The Spotlight
There is plenty of local flavor on this card, too.
Phoe “Bushido” Thaw, who previously captured the ONE Myanmar Featherweight Tournament 2016 championship, has become quite arguably the country’s second biggest star behind Aung La N Sang. The undefeated lethwei specialist will look to continue his own meteoric rise when he meets Cambodia’s Sor Sey.
The bout was originally supposed to happen in June 2017 as the conclusion of the ONE Myanmar Flyweight Tournament Championship, but Ye Thway Ne withdrew from the contest due to injury. It was rescheduled for November 2017, but Saw Min Min was forced out of the match at the very last minute. Now, the third time appears to be the charm.
Finally, history will be made as the first women’s bout featuring Myanmar warriors will be contested in the atomweight division. Two-time Myanmar national boxing champion Bozhena Antoniyar will meet Myanmar national lethwei champion Shwe Sin.
After falling to Leandro Issa in his return bout last November, former ONE Bantamweight World Title challenger Dae Hwan Kim will attempt to get back on the winning track. He will meet Shooto Featherweight Champion Daichi Takenaka, a newcomer to the ONE cage, in a bantamweight tilt.
“The Underdog” Li Kai Wen is re-emerging as well, and wants to build some steam towards his campaign of becoming China’s first ONE Featherweight World Champion. He will welcome the Philippines’ Roel “Akiyama” Rosauro to the ONE cage.
Finally, Priscilla Hertati Lumban Gaol will try to get on a two-bout win streak. She kicks off the night against Filipino Muay Thai star and promotional newcomer Krisna “Phoenix” Limbaga.