Mixed Martial Arts

Aung La N Sang Reflects On A Magical 2019

There may not be another person who has experienced a more magical 2019 than two-division ONE World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang.

He only competed in the Circle twice this year, but the magnitude of his challenges — and victories, for that matter — were enormous.

Aung La N Sang retains his ONE Middleweight World Title with a HUGE knockout of Ken Hasegawa at 4:41 of Round 2 ????

Aung La Nsang(Burmese Python) retains his ONE Middleweight World Title with a HUGE knockout of Ken Hasegawa at 4:41 of Round 2 ????Watch the full event on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast

Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, March 31, 2019

The Myanmar superstar kicked off the year by successfully defending his middleweight crown against his old foe, Ken Hasegawa, in the co-main event of ONE: A NEW ERA in Tokyo, Japan in March.

Nine months after scoring a fifth-round knockout in what is considered “The Greatest Bout In ONE Championship History,” the 34-year-old earned a more decisive win in their rematch — this time, he stopped Hasegawa via TKO in round two.

Then, after being called out by ONE Heavyweight World Champion Brandon “The Truth” Vera directly after that contest, he defended his light heavyweight belt against the Filipino-American in the main event of ONE: CENTURY PART II, which also emanated from the Japanese capital.

It may have been a bigger challenge — literally — but Aung La N Sang got the better of his taller foe and finished him in the second round via TKO.

Now, with 2019 finally coming to a close, “The Burmese Python” talks to us about his stellar year, his even bigger plans for 2020, and much more.

???? WHAT. A. BATTLE! ????

???? WHAT. A. BATTLE! ????ONE two-division World Champion Aung La Nsang(Burmese Python) caps off a historic night in Tokyo with a ???? MASSIVE TKO ???? win over Brandon Vera to retain the ONE Light Heavyweight World Title!????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop Official Merchandise ???? http://bit.ly/ONECShop

Posted by ONE Championship on Sunday, October 13, 2019

ONE Championship: You had an incredible 2018, but towards the end of that year, you predicted an even bigger 2019. Would you say that was accomplished?

Aung La N Sang: It was a great year for me. I was very happy that it went the way it did. Fighting on two massive cards this year was the best thing that could have happened to me being signed to ONE Championship. It’s the two biggest events [in history], and being the main event, I was very fortunate.

When I go out there and perform, I can’t let it get to my head. That was one thing that was very important to me — knowing they were such monumental events, I had to make sure I didn’t let it become too big of a deal in my head.

ONE: When you faced Ken Hasegawa in the rematch back in March, you did not want to leave any doubt that you were the better athlete. Ultimately, you scored a second-round TKO. How important was that for you?

ALNS: That Ken Hasegawa fight was very big for me because, prior to that, most of my fights had been in Myanmar, so not as many people get to watch or know about it. But that ONE Championship event in Japan was monumental for them. It was a new era for them.

For me, to put on a good performance was very, very important. There’s no way he is going to want to fight me again. That’s what I wanted to do. If I ever have a rematch with Brandon Vera, that’s what I want to do as well.

Myanmar's Aung La N Sang kicks Ken Hasegawa in their rematch

ONE: Speaking of Vera, that match-up finally happened in October. Can you give us a sense of how big that match-up was for your career?

ALNS: That fight was very big. On a personal level, I was a big fan of Brandon Vera. I’ve been rooting for him since when I was in college. When I was in college, I watched him knock out Justin Eilers and later, I watched him just tear through the heavyweight division when he first came into ONE Championship.

To be able to fight the man that I looked up to as a fan, it’s a pretty amazing thing. To be in the same cage, standing across from him, that was something that was very personal for me. For my career, it puts me on notice as far as beating the heavyweight champion and it opens doors for me. A lot of opportunities for me come from that win.

ONE: Could you have imagined that bout playing out any better than it did?

ALNS: It would have been better if I didn’t hurt my hand, but I’m pretty happy with the performance. It went according to plan. We prepared well for him and the fight went well. You can’t complain about that. It was as we prepared for, so it was very nice.

ONE: Outside the Circle, you devote a lot of time to charity, especially in your home country of Myanmar. What has been your favorite moment from your charitable efforts this year?

ALNS: I think the trip I did with one of my sponsors Awba, which is an agriculture company, was pretty amazing. We went to about 30 villages in Myanmar and met the farmers there. It was supposed to be for the farmers, but in some cities, the whole city came out. I kid you not.

In one city, there were 5,000 or 6,000 people who came out. I stood around, talked to them, and encouraged them. To see how genuinely happy they were to see me, that was pretty amazing.

Those days in training, when you have a really hard day, you just think about those times. It’s nothing compared to what they’re going through, and you get a lot of strength thinking about that.

Aung La N Sang battles Brandon Vera at ONE: CENTURY

ONE: How important is all of this to your legacy, especially after the kind of year that you had in 2019?

ALNS: This year was big for my legacy. It’s a stamp. It lets me know that I beat the heavyweight champion. I am the current light heavyweight champion and the middleweight champion, and I defended both belts as well.

For my legacy, it’s great. But you know how last year I said 2019 is going to be better? The reason I could say that was because of who I train with and what my circumstances were.

I knew I had things I was working towards and working on to let me know that 2019 was going to be better. I can say 2020 is going to be big as well. There are things I’m doing right now that make me believe 2020 is going to be very big.

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