Aung La N Sang capped off a historic 207 as he became Myanmar’s first-ever world champion, set the records for most wins and finishes in middleweight history, and won the inaugural Open-Weight Super Match to be contested under the ONE Championship banner.
Now as the year 2018 rolls on, Aung La N Sang has been granted an opportunity to make history once more.
Known by the moniker “The Burmese Python” due to his constricting approach inside the cage, Aung La N Sang will challenge Brazil’s Alexandre Machado for the available ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship in the main event of ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD, which takes place at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar on 23 February.
By claiming the light heavyweight world title, Aung La N Sang can join Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen as only the second double world champion in ONE Championship history and one of the few dual titleholders in the world.
“Winning the ONE Championship middleweight belt was the greatest moment of my career. Now I’m looking to win the light heavyweight title and become a dual world champion in this wonderful sport,” he stated.
“I will do anything in my power to make the people of Myanmar proud once again by starting this year with another victory,” Aung La N Sang added.
Standing in front of Aung La N Sang at ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD is Machado, a martial artist who has a penchant for scoring spectacular submissions and highlight-reel knockouts.
A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Machado currently sports a 8-2 professional record and will be making his much-anticipated return to the ONE Championship cage.
In his last bout, Machado defeated Cameroonian brute Alain Ngalani via second-round technical knockout.
After a period away from competition, Machado is back and ready to square off with Aung La N Sang for the vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship.
“I have watched Machado compete before, and I know his strengths and weaknesses. He will be a tough opponent. His Jiu-Jitsu is top-notch, and he has heavy hands. Although he is a tall order as I move up to another weight class, I am still determined to emerge victorious. I want to add another laurel to my growing résumé as martial artist and earn a name for my country,” Aung La N Sang said.
As Myanmar’s most popular sporting icon and national hero, there are more eyes on Aung La N Sang than ever before.
It may be a heavy burden for some to carry, but it is an honor that “The Burmese Python” carries with pride.
So while Aung La N Sang has lofty ambitions for his legacy inside the cage, he also has some goals for his role outside of it as well.
“I have to portray myself as a world champion, I have to portray ONE Championship as a company in a positive light, and I have to portray my people in Myanmar in a positive light,” he explained. “I need to be a good ambassador, a good human being, and lead by example.”
“In my upcoming bout this February 23rd, nothing will change. I step inside the cage to be an inspiration. The main goal is to make history and unite Myanmar as one through martial arts,” Aung La N Sang ended.