Aung La N Sang Praises Anatoly Malykhin But Hungry For Another Shot At Middleweight MMA Gold

Aung La N Sang Fan Rong ONE Fight Night 10 58

Former two-division ONE MMA World Champion Aung La N Sang has his sights set on the baddest man on the planet.

At 38 years old, “The Burmese Python” knows he’s nearing the end of his incredible career, but he won’t be ready to walk away until he gets a crack at current three-division MMA kingpin Anatoly “Sladkiy” Malykhin.

Two weeks ago, Aung La N Sang watched as the Russian superstar achieved the unprecedented, knocking out Reinier de Ridder at ONE 166: Qatar to claim the ONE Middleweight MMA World Title and become the first three-division MMA World Champion in history.

Looking back, the Myanmar superstar was impressed by Malykhin’s performance – his second World Title win over the Dutch grappling specialist – but wasn’t surprised by the outcome.

Aung La told

“It was a great fight. It went as I expected. We all know how some people can be stylistically a bad matchup for a certain fighter, and it doesn’t really matter what you do in a year’s time. Some people are just stylistically a bad matchup. 

“Anatoly defended all the takedowns and was able to land his game plan which is to box him up. It pretty much broke Reinier in the third round.”

Indeed, “Sladkiy” used his elite wrestling and massive power to dominate much of the action en route to a third-round stoppage.

A former ONE Light Heavyweight and Middleweight MMA World Champion himself, Aung La N Sang has plenty of respect for Malykhin’s unmatched accomplishment:

“Anatoly is now a three-division champ. Congrats to him. It’s something that hasn’t been done in ONE Championship history, so congrats to him and his team.”

As the longest-reigning middleweight MMA titleholder in the promotion’s history, “The Burmese Python” also believes Malykhin’s real test will come when he puts his golden belts on the line against a bevy of hungry contenders.

He offered:

“It’s very impressive, but defending is gonna be a lot harder, for sure. Defending on all three divisions is gonna be a lot harder.”

Aung La N Sang: ‘My Job As A Professional Fighter Is Not Done’

Currently riding a three-fight winning streak – with each victory coming via stoppage – Aung La N Sang knows he’s knocking on the door of a crack at newly minted ONE Middleweight MMA World Champion Anatoly Malykhin.

While some might think retirement is next for the former two-division king, he says he has unfinished business before calling it a career:

“That’s the only reason why I keep fighting – to be champion again. That’s the only reason why I’m fighting still. I could retire now, but it wouldn’t be fun. It wouldn’t be fun for the ONE Championship middleweight division.”

For fans, a matchup between Aung La N Sang and Anatoly Malykhin would surely provide plenty of “fun.”

They are two of MMA’s most ruthless finishers, with “The Burmese Python” boasting an absurd 93 percent finishing rate across 30 career wins and Malykhin stopping all 14 of his opponents to date.

Given those resumes, Aung La N Sang knows a challenge of the three-division king would produce guaranteed fireworks:

“If we were to fight, there’s no way that any of us would back down, and we’ll put on a great show.

“Think about it – every fight that I fight, I fight for the finish. Every fight that he fights, he fights for the finish. There would be no yellow card in that fight. It would for sure be a barnburner for the fans.”

For his part, Aung La N Sang is showing no signs of slowing down.

The veteran says his fire is still burning – and that he’s happy to mow down as many contenders as necessary to regain the 26 pounds of gold he once held:

“I don’t care how long it takes, I’m still gunning for the title. And it’s one of those things that I don’t need to be in this sport anymore, but I want to be because I still have that hunger.

“I still want to be champion again, and I still want to put on great shows for the fans. My job as a professional fighter is not done.”

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