Myanmar’s Tial Thang eyes statement win in ONE Championship debut on Friday

“The Dragon Leg” Tial Thang is determined to thrill fans with a fast and action-packed bout when he makes his ONE Championship debut this Friday, 8 March in Yangon, Myanmar.

He will return to his home country for the first time in more than a decade to face Cambodia’s Rin Saroth on the main card of ONE: REIGN OF VALOR, which takes place at the iconic Thuwunna Indoor Stadium.

Tial Thang will also make his maiden appearance as a mixed martial arts professional at the same event, but he has had plenty of seasoning as an amateur, and he has honed his skills with some elite training partners.

After working with Myanmar’s most famous son, “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang for the past two years, the man from Hakha believes he has what it takes to win the 68-kilogram catchweight bout in astonishing fashion.

“I think this fight is going to end quickly,” he said.

“No disrespect to Saroth, but I am a better fighter, and I have the capability of finishing this fight in the early rounds.”

With four victories under his belt in the amateur ranks, Tial Thang feels confident to switch from grappling to striking depending on his opponent’s weaknesses.

“I am very aggressive, go forward, and show up to fight,” he declared.

His opponent is a formidable striker with a 110-22 record in the Cambodian martial art of Kun Khmer, which he used to power him to an impressive stoppage win against Mario Satya Wirawan last July.

Saroth likewise has a submission victory in ONE Championship, but Tial Thang believes he has a weakness that can be exploited.

“He is good at everything, but his grappling is his biggest weakness,” he shared. “He has a strong right hand, but other than that, I’m not worried about anything.”

“The Dragon Leg” has a long history as a martial artist. He started practicing wrestling when he was a boy growing up in Myanmar’s mountainous Chin state.

He continued his training in the United States, but he has stepped up a gear ahead of his homecoming at ONE: REIGN OF VALOR

Tial Thang has moved away from his young family and trained intensely to prepare for the clash at Florida’s Hard Knocks 365.

Now under the guidance of elite kickboxing coach Henri Hooft alongside two-division World Champion Aung La N Sang and a host of other world-class martial artists, his striking game has been elevated to a new level.

His new gym has also given him access to a goldmine of information from seasoned professionals, not least the “The Burmese Python,” who has given him plenty of encouragement.

“[He said] be myself, go out there, and fight hard,” Tial Thang bared..

A victory in the world’s largest martial arts organization would launch his career and bring joy to the thousands of Chin people living in the United States and Myanmar.

“It’s such an honor and blessing for me to fight in front of my people. I can’t wait to put on a very entertaining fight for them,” he declared.

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Author: Robert Belen

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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