“The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang is in a precarious position as the two-division world champion puts his middleweight title on the line for the first time against a dangerous Japanese challenger.
Aung La N Sang is set to defend his ONE Middleweight World Championship against Ken Hasegawa of Japan in the main event of ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR, which takes place at the iconic Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar on 29 June.
The 33-year-old Myanmar powerhouse capped off a historic 2017 as he became the country’s first-ever world champion, established records for most wins and finishes in the organization’s middleweight history, and won the inaugural Open-Weight Super Match to be contested under the ONE Championship banner.
Aung La N Sang added yet another accolade to his glowing repertoire of awards as a global martial arts superstar, capturing the vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship with a knockout victory over Brazil’s Alexandre Machado this past February.
Known by the moniker “The Burmese Python” due to his savvy submission triumphs, Aung La N Sang flaunted a different facet of his game as he got the job done in just 56 seconds by knocking out Machado with a thunderous high kick.
With his remarkable conquest of Machado, Aung La N Sang now has both the ONE Middleweight World Championship and ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship titles in his possession.
Following his second world title-copping performance against Machado nearly four months ago, Aung La N Sang expressed his chaste intention to defend both gold-plated straps on the ONE Championship stage.
“Winning two world titles was the greatest moment of my career. Now I’m looking to successfully defend both titles,” Aung La N Sang stated. “I will do anything in my power to make the people of Myanmar proud once again by getting the victory in my first title defense this coming June.”
“I want to be the best, and I want to defend these two belts. I’m not just going to hold them and leave,” he added.
In his first assignment as world champion, Aung La N Sang lures a tough opposition in Hasegawa, who holds an impressive professional record of 16-2-1.
Hasegawa has stopped three of his last five opponents, showcasing the undeniable submission skills and thunderous knockout power that he has become known for competing in Japanese promotions such as Deep and Rizin Fighting Federation.
Aung La N Sang was supposed to square off with Leandro Ataides, who solidified his position as a top contender in ONE Championship’s talented middleweight division by defeating former world champion Vitaly Bigdash via third-round stoppage last 12 May.
However, Ataides is still recovering from his grueling encounter with Bigdash, leaving ONE Championship an option to find a fitting foe for Aung La N Sang’s return to action.
Owning four submissions and six scintillating knockouts, Hasegawa will step into the ONE Championship cage for the first time at ONE: SPIRIT OF A WARRIOR, challenging Aung La N Sang for the ONE Middleweight World Championship.
Facing a caliber cage counterpart in his first title defense, Aung La N Sang believes that he has hands full against Hasegawa.
“He will be a tough opponent. His grappling is top-notch, and he has heavy hands. Although he is a tall order as I defend my middleweight title for the very first time, I am still determined to emerge victorious. I want to add another laurel to my growing résumé as martial artist and earn a sweet victory for my country,” he declared.
Aung La N Sang guarantees that his first world title defense on 29 June will end in emphatic fashion.
“I am looking forward to defending my legacy. I want to stay as active as possible, and I am excited for this bout. I adapt to every situation. Whether he comes out strong, or whether he comes out slow, I will adjust to every situation, and make sure I win every exchange,” he concluded.