Even if Alexandre “Bebezao” Machado is entering enemy territory for his world championship clash against Myanmar martial arts superstar Aung La N Sang, the Brazilian brute assures that he is in no way intimidated with his opponent’s hometown advantage.
Both men are set to collide for the vacant 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.
Machado is not new to overseas trips as he has won his four of his last five out-of-the country matches, but it will be his first time to face a local favorite on his home-soil.
Given that the marquee match-up will be held in Myanmar, Machado stressed that the scheduled five-round world title encounter with Aung La N Sang is his chance to prove his worth as an indomitable world-class martial artist.
“I am not bothered whatsoever fighting in Myanmar against a beloved champion like Aung La N Sang. It’s a tough task, but I have to step up and prove that I am a real contender for this world title. It’s not all the time that I will have the luxury to fight in my own comfort zone,” he said.
“Aung La N Sang is revered by his people. I will show his countrymen that I am a warrior who will face anyone. I desire to leave Yangon, Myanmar with a world title around my waist,” Machado added.
The 35-year-old native of Rio Janeiro, Brazil is rare breed of martial artist who has a penchant for scoring spectacular submissions and highlight-reel knockouts.
Machado, who has never gone the distance since March 2012, has four submission victories and three knockouts under his belt.
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 heavyweight 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 available ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship.
As Machado vies for a world title for the very first time in his professional career, the Brazilian hard-hitter is not perturbed by what may be a hometown decision favoring his counterpart.
“I’m not worried about a hometown decision. I’m confident that it will be an even playing field when I meet him inside the cage,” he stated.
Machado confided that he is not bothered with the fact that most Burmese combat-adoring fanatics will be rooting for Aung La N Sang on the night of ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD.
“I am not going to zone out. It doesn’t matter if they will cheer or boo. It’s all energy. The more they are into the fight, the more pumped up I get,” he shared.
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.
By claiming the light heavyweight crown, 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.
With Aung La N Sang eyeing to make his mark once more, Machado aims to spoil it by scoring a decisive win over the celebrated hometown hero.
“I am not worried about the hometown advantage because a true martial artist can fight anywhere and under any circumstance. I am excited to get back inside the ONE Championship cage and expect nothing less than a spectacular showing in Myanmar. Although I respect Aung La N Sang and what he brings to the table, I am returning home victorious,” he ended.