It has been officially announced that Aung “The Burmese Python” La Nsang, 32, is not defending his ONE Middleweight World Champion title at “ONE: Quest for Gold.” Instead, he will be competing for the vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion title against Alexandre “Bebezao” Machado, 33, of Brazil during the said event.
“ONE: Quest for Gold” is scheduled on February 23, 2018. It will take place in Aung’s home country Myanmar, particularly at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon.
Born in Myitkyina in the mountainous Kachin State, Aung belongs to an ethnic minority known as the Kachin. He is Myanmar’s first ever world champion and most successful athlete in history.
“Home of ONE Middleweight World Champion Aung La Nsang, Yangon is the epicenter of authentic martial arts action in Myanmar,” ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong stated. “The last time ONE Championship rocked the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium, the Burmese Python blew the roof off the arena with a thrilling performance.”
This is not the first time a ONE champion is competing for another title. ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 28, also became ONE Lightweight World Champion after dethroning Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, of the Philippines at “ONE: Legends of the World” in November 2017.
In June 2017, Aung became the new ONE Middleweight World Champion after dethroning Vitaly Bigdash of Russia via unanimous decision. The Burmese fighter’s most recent bout was at “ONE: Hero’s Dream” against heavyweight kickboxing champion Alain Ngalani, which was ONE’s first ever Open Weight Super-Bout.
Aung defeated Ngalani via guillotine choke submission at 4:31 of Round 1. This improved Aung’s record to 21 wins, 10 losses and 1 No Contest.
On the other hand, Machado currently holds a record of 8 wins and 2 losses. His most recent opponent is also Ngalani.
In August 2016, Machado defeated Ngalani via technical knockout via submission to punches at 0:21 of Round 2 at “ONE: Heroes of the World.” It was Machado’s second ONE Championship bout.
In February 2016, Machado made his ONE Championship debut at “ONE: Tribe of Warriors.” It did not turn out in his favor as he lost to Marcin Prachnio, 29, via technical knockout via punches.
Machado is a rare breed of martial artist with a penchant for scoring spectacular submissions and highlight-reel knockouts. He is a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
With Aung and Machado in the main event of “ONE: Quest for Gold,” Amir Khan, 23, of Singapore will face Timofey Nastyukhin, 28, of Russia in the co-main event of the evening. The Singaporean fighter has a stellar professional record of 9-2 while his Russian opponent owns a professional record of 11-3.
Also in the fight card are Ev “E.T.” Ting, 28, and Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton, 36, who will compete in the lightweight division. Ting is from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but is living and training out of Auckland, New Zealand while Sexton is from Vancouver, Canada.
Moreover, Aung’s fellow Burmese fighters Saw Min Min, 19, and Ye Thway Ne, 20, will have their rematch at “ONE: Quest for Gold.” Saw lost to Ye during their first match, which took place at “ONE: Hero’s Dream.”
Meanwhile, here is a clip featuring Aung, Nguyen and other ONE champions:
Ticket information for ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD is available at www.onefc.com.