Former ONE Middleweight World Champion Vitaly Bigdash, 33, is walking the road to redemption. After losing his belt to Aung “The Burmese Python” La N Sang, 32, on June 30, 2017 at “ONE: Light of a Nation,” the Russian MMA fighter will return into the ONE Championship cage on January 20, 2018.
On October 9, 2015, Bigdash made a successful ONE Championship debut at “ONE: Tigers of Asia” in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He became the Singapore-based MMA promotion’s Middleweight World Champion after defeating his Kazakh opponent Igor “Lionheart” Svirid, 31.
On January 14, 2017, Bigdash successfully defended his title from Aung via unanimous decision at “ONE: Quest for Power” at Jakarta Convention Center, Jakarta, Indonesia. They had their rematch at Thuwunna National Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar, which also ended with the judges’ unanimous decision but this time, in favor with the Burmese challenger.
Bigdash did not only lose his belt at the time. He also broke his undefeated record and went on hiatus since.
Almost seven months later, Bigdash will be back. He is returning to Jakarta Convention Center to face Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner Leandro “Leo” Ataides, 31, in the middleweight division in the main card of “ONE: Kings of Courage.”
“I will get my belt back,” Bigdash told ONE Championship. “My ultimate goal is to become a champion again, so I will go up against whoever it is necessary to get there.”
After beating Bigdash, Aung successfully defended his title from Alain Ngalani at “ONE: Hero’s Dream” on November 3, 2017 at Thuwunna National Indoor Stadium. The reigning ONE Middleweight World Champion has yet to return to the cage since then.
At “ONE: Kings of Courage,” ONE Championship will crown its first Women’s Strawweight World Champion. The main event is the inaugural championship bout between Tifanny Teo and Xiong Jing Nan while the co-main event is a flyweight bout between Stefer Rahadian and Muhammad Imran.
There are two bantamweight matches in the main card of “ONE: Kings of Courage” fight card, which are between Sunoto and Thai Rithy and between Yusup Saadulaev and Masakazu Imanari. Also in the main card are a strawweight match between Iryna Kyselova and Miao Jie and a featherweight match between Victorio Senduk and Yohan Mulia Legowo.
In the preliminary card are a flyweight match between Riski Umar and Arnol Batubara, a strawweight match Rene Catalan and Peng Xue Wen and an atomweight match between Priscilla Lumban Gaol and Audreylaura Boniface. The bout between Bigdash and Ataides is the only middleweight match.
Currently, Bigdash holds a record of 9 wins and 1 loss while Ataides has 10 wins and 3 losses. Meanwhile, here is a video featuring Bigdash and Aung: