Wrestling & MMA

Winning titles helped ONE Championship’s Aung La N Sang unify strife-ridden Myanmar

Ex-MMA fighter turns tables on his attacker in Florida

A would-be attacker picked the wrong guy to mess with in West Palm Beach, Florida, the Sun Sentinel reported on April 2, finding himself swiftly pinned to the ground by a former professional MMA fighter.
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A would-be attacker picked the wrong guy to mess with in West Palm Beach, Florida, the Sun Sentinel reported on April 2, finding himself swiftly pinned to the ground by a former professional MMA fighter.

ONE Championship light heavyweight and middleweight champion Aung La N Sang is more than a two-belt titleholder. He is a national hero for his native Myanmar, and through his success, he has changed and saved lives, bringing the strife-ridden country together.

He never imagined that would happen to him, but it did, and he accepts the responsibility of being a role model. His demeanor, drive, work ethic and values make him a great representative of the ONE Championship mantra in and out of the ring.

Also a wildlife activist, his sights these days are set on his next fight.

I interviewed N Sang on Aug. 29 before his training season at Hard Knocks 365 in Fort Lauderdale.

He discusses ONE Championship, Hard Knocks 365, South Florida, helping Burma, beekeeping, Brandon Vera, and more. Click for the video interview.

Nicknamed the Burmese Python, N Sang (25-10) is preparing for the epic ONE: Century in Tokyo as he defends his light heavyweight title against ONE Championship Heavyweight Champ Brandon The Truth Vera (16-7) on Oct. 13. at Ryogku Kokugikan.

After training in Baltimore, N Sang decided South Florida is where he needed to develop and grow as a fighter.

That decision brought him to Hard Knocks 365, which he says fit well for him.

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Photo By Jim Varsallone

Internationally Renowned Coach Henri Hooft is again training N Sang at Hard Knocks 365. He is confident N Sang will impress at ONE: Century.

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Photo By Jim Varsallone

That historic event — the 100th show for ONE Championship — will be broadcast on TNT and B/R Live under the Turner Sports banner. There will also be a second show (101st show) on the same day at the same venue to showcase more fights.

N Sang, 34, is a college graduate, earning a degree in Agricultural Science at Andrews University in Michigan.

N Sang, a former beekeeper who now lives with his family in Lake Worth, is also a wildlife activist.

ONE Championship, based in Singapore, is the largest global sports media property in Asian history. Plans are to schedule shows in the United States next year.

About Aung La N Sang

ONE middleweight and light heavyweight world champion Aung La N Sang was born in Myanmar, and he was already a tremendous athlete at school in Yangon before moving to the United States to broaden his studies.

There, he also began training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and other disciplines while studying Agriculture Science at Andrews University in Michigan. He was instantly hooked on martial arts.

After graduating, he traveled throughout the country, working as a migratory beekeeper, but soon decided to settle down and dedicate his life to martial arts.

N Sang made his professional debut in 2005 and soon built a reputation for his outstanding submission skills and strong kicks to earn himself the nickname of “The Burmese Python.”

In a career spanning more than a decade, almost every one of N Sang’s wins has ended via stoppage, proving his immense talent and effectiveness.

After making a successful debut for ONE Championship in 2014, N Sang returned to Myanmar at ONE: Union of Warriors, winning his bout to become a national hero.

However, it wasn’t until June 2017 that the Myanmar hero would make history. He defeated Vitaly Bigdash to become the ONE middleweight world champion, uniting Myanmar in celebration as it hailed the country’s first ever world champion in sport.

N Sang then doubled his tally of gold in 2018, defeating Alexandre Machado via knockout to claim the vacant ONE light heavyweight world championship. In 2018, he defended his middleweight crown for the first time, knocking out Ken Hasegawa in a bout dubbed the best in ONE history.

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Photo By Dux Carvajal Courtesy ONE Championship

Hooft not only trained N Sang for those fights, but he coached him at them. He witnessed firsthand how the people of Myanmar love and respect N Sang. Whether at the show or on the streets — citizens cheering him, taking photos with him, talking to him.

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Photo By Jim Varsallone

The Truth vs. The Burmese Python at ONE: Century

Filipino-American Brandon “The Truth” Vera will return to action in October for the epic ONE: Century in Tokyo as he attempts to make history by becoming a two-division World Champion.

On Oct. 13, the standout from Manila will challenge The Burmese Python Aung La N Sang for his ONE light heavyweight world title at the historic Ryogku Kokugikan.

Vera is the ONE heavyweight champ. N Sang already holds two titles as he is also the ONE middleweight champ.

That long-awaited matchup (Vera vs. N Sang) will be part of two stacked cards that will also feature “The Panda” Xiong Jing Nan vs. “Unstoppable” Angela Lee II for the ONE atomweight world championship and Bibiano “ The Flash” Fernandes vs. Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon IV for the ONE bantamweight world title.

Vera, 41, born in Norfolk, Virginia, currently resides in his ancestral homeland the Philippines.

N Sang, 34, born in Myitkyina, Kachin, Myanmar (Burma), currently resides in Lake Worth in South Florida.

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Photo By Jim Varsallone

ONE Championship is the largest global sports media property in Asian history, and the event marks a milestone for the company, reaching its 100th and 101st shows on the same day.

Click this link: ONEChampionship100Promo

More about historic ONE: Century shows

ONE Championship’s two full-scale World Championship events for ONE: Century consist of 11 bouts each with both on Oct. 13 from Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo.

The first card of ONE: Century will be broadcast live at 11 p.m. EST on TNT in the United States.

The second card will be broadcast globally to 140-plus countries via the world’s largest television networks.

Both will be available on B/R Live under the Turner Sports banner.

Ticket information for ONE: Century is available at www.onefc.com.

ONE Fan Fest

On Oct. 5-6, there will be a ONE Martial Arts Fan Fest to ready fans for the event.

The two-day venture will be the first of its kind, combining the very best of martial arts, fighting games esports, meet-and-greets, workouts, special merch and more.

ONE athletes scheduled include 12-time Flyweight World Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, multiple-time Lightweight World Champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez, Japanese icon Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, ONE World Champions Brandon “The Truth” Vera, Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang, Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, and “Unstoppable” Angela Lee, as well as martial arts legends Rich Franklin and Miesha Tate, among others.

Select fans will receive the opportunity to participate in Autograph and Meet-and-Greet sessions with ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong, as well as their favorite ONE Championship athletes and ring girls. There will also be special martial arts demonstrations from organizations Shin Karate, Shooto and Pancrase.

For info click this link: https://www.onefc.com/events/one-martial-arts-fan-fest/.

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Photo By Dux Carvajal Courtesy ONE Championship

For updates on ONE Championship, follow on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

For the web site click: https://www.onefc.com/.

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Jim Varsallone covers pro wrestling, something he’s done since his college days in the late 1980s. Spanning four decades, he currently covers WWE (Raw, SmackDown and NXT), Ring of Honor, Impact Wrestling, Lucha Underground, MLW, WOW, FSCW, AEW and the South Florida indies. He also writes MMA -- mostly profile stories and video interviews with American Top Team talent in South Florida. As for pro wrestling, he writes feature stories and profile pieces, updates upcoming show schedules in South Florida, photographs the action and interviews talent (audio and video) -- sharing the content here and via social media on his Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channel: jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel).
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