Mixed Martial Arts

Tial Thang Shares The Story Behind His Emotional Win In KL

“The Dragon Leg” Tial Thang’s win at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS was more than just an extra notch on his resume — it was a rite of passage.

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Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, December 6, 2019

The burgeoning Myanmar star scored an impressive victory over “The Kid” Kim Woon Kyoum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Friday, 6 December, and he demonstrated how he has managed to turn his life around with martial arts.

“It was such an emotional win,” the 26-year-old explains.

“Not many people know my story. I used to live in this country as a refugee boy. I was a little boy who got up at night to collect cans to sell them for a few ringgit.

“This time, I returned to a place I used to call home on a different stage. It was such an honor and a magical moment.

“I’m in a better and bigger place now, and I’m not collecting cans to get money anymore. I left as that poor little kid, but I returned as a martial artist.”



Tial Thang did not just return as a regular mixed martial artist, however. He stepped into the Circle and proved to be one of the brightest prospects in ONE Championship’s bantamweight division.

The four-time Chin State Wrestling Champion pushed through adversity and dominated his South Korean adversary with an increasingly well-rounded arsenal en route to a unanimous decision victory.

“My performance was very good. I feel like I stuck to the game plan, and that gave me the win I needed. My opponent was a tough guy, but I was ready for him all day. He was strong, but I was very motivated to win,” the Myanmar talent offers.

“In the first round, I did everything that I was supposed to do. In the middle of the round, he gave me a good kick, which popped my rib, and it took away my capability of putting on a better show.

“Other than that, it was good. I listened to my cornermen very well, so I’m very happy with it.”

Here comes ground and pound from Tial Thang

It would have been easy to resign himself to defeat when he re-aggravated the rib injury that blighted his camp at Sanford MMA in Florida, USA. But despite the pain, “The Dragon Leg” got the motivation he needed to continue the battle.

He had his teammates – ONE World Champions Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang and Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen – in his corner, and their influence was paramount to his success.

“Aung La N Sang [said] these exact words: ‘Do you want to win?’” Tial Thang recalls.

“I said, ‘Yes, I want to win.’ When you want something in life, it is in your hands. Whatever you face or do, in or outside the cage, is in your hands.

“I really wanted the victory, and I did not want anything less than that. That was the biggest motivation for me in this fight.”

Following his win, ONE World Champions Aung La N Sang and Martin Nguyen give advice to Tial Thang

Tial Thang returned to a place where he lived in poverty and competed in front of thousands of passionate fans inside the Axiata Arena, with many of them screaming his name for the duration of the three-round contest.

Coupled with his own desire to succeed, their support – as well as the support from his own Myanmar compatriots who made the trek from overseas – helped “The Dragon Leg” push forward to his second professional mixed martial arts victory.

The Myanmar athlete is a perfect 2-0, and he is confident he will continue to grow and eventually become his division’s kingpin.

“You get into this sport to be a World Champion. If that’s not your plan, I don’t understand the reason why you fight. That’s the sole reason I got into this sport, to become a World Champion,” he states.

“I want to fight all the bantamweights. It’s just who I am. I’m ready to fight them – if I’m healthy – anytime, anywhere.”

Read more: What Could Be Next For The Big Winners Of ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS?