ONE Championship has just announced that Polish middleweight contender Marcin Prachnio has withdrawn from his upcoming bout due to injury, less than two weeks before he was scheduled to compete for the ONE Middleweight World Championship against defending champion Vitaly Bigdash.
Stepping in to replace him is Myanmar national hero “Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang (19-9-0, 1NC). He will step inside the ONE Championship cage across the undefeated Bigdash (8-0) in the main event of ONE: QUEST FOR POWER. The card is set to take place in Indonesia’s Jakarta Convention Center on Saturday, 14 January.
“While it is unfortunate that Marcin Prachnio has fallen to injury, fans of the ‘Burmese Python’ have every reason to be excited,” said ONE Championship CEO Victor Cui.
“Yangon’s own martial arts hero Aung La N Sang has been tapped for the main event against ONE Middleweight World Champion Vitaly Bigdash. He has definitely earned a shot at ONE Championship gold with his spectacular performances as of late.”
Bigdash, as many fans recall, participated in one of the most memorable middleweight bouts in ONE Championship history in October of 2015. He was challenging ONE Middleweight World Champion Igor “Lionheart” Svirid at the time.
Svirid started out quickly, blasting Bigdash with heavy-handed blows that dropped the 32-year-old on multiple occasions. Every time Bigdash fell to the canvas, however, he would get right back up to his feet in a display of tremendous heart and resolve.
By the end of the first round, Bigdash had turned the fight around, and with less than a minute into the second, had stopped the veteran Kazakh Svirid to capture the title.
Aung La N Sang, on the other hand, made his ONE Championship debut in 2014, and has since racked up four straight victories which includes two submissions and one knockout. In the process, he triumphed over top-ranked middleweights Aleksei Butorin and Michal Pasternak to confirm his status as a true title contender.
The US-based Aung La N Sang has built a ravenous fan-following in Yangon after making a triumphant return in March of 2016. It was an emotional return to his roots, and one that Aung La N Sang says he will never forget. The hero’s reception he receives in Yangon is truly remarkable and unique, and no other athlete has commanded the same kind of atmosphere in Asian MMA.
When Bigdash and Aung La N Sang go head-to-head in a couple of weeks’ time, it will be the culmination of a long journey for the Myanmar fighter. For Bigdash, it is an opportunity to cement his position as champion.