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Mixed Martial Arts

Aung La N Sang is feeling confident ahead of middleweight title defence

Two-weight ONE world champion looks to shine on home soil once again



ONE Championship

Life is good for two-weight world champion Aung La N Sang.

“The Burmese Python” captured the ONE Middleweight World Title last year with a thrilling win over then-champion Vitaly Bigdash, then submitted hulking heavyweight Alain Ngalani in ONE Championship’s first-ever Open-Weight Super Bout.

He then added the light-heavyweight world title with a stunning head-kick knockout of Alexandre Machado to become a simultaneous two-weight ONE world champion.

And on Friday, 29 June at ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR, Aung La N Sang returns to his spiritual home of the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar to face former DEEP Megatonweight Champion Ken Hasegawa in his first defence of his middleweight world title.

Myanmar’s only sporting world champion has been working tirelessly at his new training home of Hard Knocks 365 in Florida, USA, and says his preparations have been excellent ahead of his middleweight return.

“I feel perfect,” said the 33-year-old.

“Everything is feeling sharp and on point. I feel strong, my training camp is going great, and I have really good training partners.

“There is nothing Ken can do that I have not seen in training, and I am going to be able to deal with everything he throws at me. I am feeling confident, and I am ready to put on a good show.”

Aung La N Sang’s recent contests at Thuwunna Indoor Stadium have generated memorable atmospheres, as the Myanmar fans roared their hero to victory. His last three bouts have been staged at the venue, and coincidentally those displays have been the most impressive of “The Burmese Python’s” mixed martial arts career.

And while his most recent outing saw him claim a quickfire knockout victory against Machado, Aung La N Sang says he expects his upcoming bout to be a much more gruelling affair, saying: “I am going to make it a long fight because that is what the Burmese people want.”

In truth, that belief probably stems from the fact that his opponent arrives in ONE Championship with a reputation that demands respect.

The 31-year-old Japanese athlete most recently achieved success in the DEEP MMA promotion as their open-weight “megaton” champion. He boasts a record of 16 wins, two losses and one draw, with 10 of those wins coming inside the distance.

“Ken is a tough fighter,” said Aung La N Sang.

“He has good judo, good takedown skills, he can take punishment, and he can impose his game plan.

“The difficulty of fighting a guy like him is his awkwardness. Japanese fighters have awkward stances. That being said, I can [dominate] for 25 minutes. That is not a problem.

“Performing and putting on a show for the fans is what is most important to me, and I am very excited I am going to get to do that.”

“The Burmese Python” is excited to return, and you can be sure the fans inside the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium will greet their returning hero with a rapturous reception.

Victory would further cement his position as the nation’s premier sports star, as he looks to continue his reign as a two-weight world champion.

Freelance sports writer and MMA reporter with 19 years’ experience in the UK's national media covering major sporting events including UFC world title fights, Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championships, Grand National and the FA Cup Final.


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