Asia

Aung La N Sang biography: 13 things about Burmese MMA fighter from Myitkina, Kachin

Aung La N Sang (©ONE Championship)

Aung La N Sang (©ONE Championship)

Nicknamed The Burmese Python, Aung La N Sang (အောင်လအန်ဆန်း) is a Burmese professional mixed martial artist from Myitkina, Kachin, Myanmar. He stands 6’1” and competes in the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions.

Aung and his wife Katherine “Katie” Oliphant live in Florida, United States with their two children. She gave birth to their son Aung De on May 2, 2015 and their daughter San Seng Grace N Sang on January 30, 2020.

From 2005 to 2020, Aung competed in Total Fight Challenge, Ultimate Throwdown, Heartland Ground n Pound, United Fight League, King of the Cage, Cage Fighting Championships, Michiana Fight League, Corral’s Combat Classic, Ring of Combat, Matrix Fights, Bellator Fighting Championships, Cage Fury Fighting Championships and ONE Championship. Here are 13 more things about him:

 

  1. He was born in Myitkina on May 21, 1985 to ethnic Kachin parents Nsang Tu Awng and Shadan Nang Bu. From Myitkina, their family moved to Yangon, Myanmar so that he and his siblings could attend the Yangon International School.
  2. He started cooking in 1992. When he was a little boy, his mom had one of the neighbors go to their house and teach him and his siblings how to cook.
  3. In 2003, he moved from Myanmar to the United States.
  4. In 2005, he made his professional MMA debut.
  5. After graduating from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture science, he moved to Columbia, Maryland, USA to live at his sister’s house and find a job. He started training at Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts in Baltimore, Maryland.
  6. In 2008, he lived in a small trailer park in Felda, Florida and worked for Steve Eisele’s company Eisele’s Honey and Pollination. As a migratory beekeeper, he made honey and pollinated almonds in California, USA, cranberries in Wisconsin, USA, blue berries in Michigan and orange in Florida.
  7. While training and teaching at Crazy 88 Mixed Martial Arts in 2009, he met Oliphant, who was his Brazilian jiu-jitsu and kickboxing student. She asked him out at the time but he refused. She persisted until he finally agreed to go out with her.
  8. Representing Lloyd Irvin Martial Arts Academy in Temple Hills, Maryland, he and Oliphant participated at the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) New York International Open Championship 2011 on April 16, 2011. He was third in the heavyweight division for blue belt adults while she placed second in the featherweight division for white belt adult females. They went on to become purple belts in BJJ. They got married inside a local courthouse in 2013 and their formal wedding ceremony took place at the Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in St. Leonard, Calvert County, Maryland, USA on September 7, 2014.
  9. His successful ONE Championship debut took place in Jakarta, Indonesia on June 14, 2014. He went on hiatus in 2015 and returned on March 18, 2016 with a submission win against Mohamed Ali of Egypt in Yangon, which was his first professional MMA bout in his home country. On June 30, 2017, he dethroned then reigning ONE Middleweight World Champion Vitaly Bigdash of Russia in Yangon, making him Myanmar’s first ever world champion in any mainstream sport. On February 23, 2018, he became a two-division world champion by winning the then vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship title in Yangon while still reigning as the ONE Middleweight World Champion.
  10. On February 24, 2018, he attended a ceremony at the Rose Garden Hotel in Yangon, Myanmar where he was honored with 10 million kyats ($7,700) cash prize and a certificate of honor from Myanmar’s commander-in-chief Min Aung Hlaing and officials from the Burmese army, navy and air force called Tatmadaw. On November 9, 2018, World Wide Fund for Nature, Myanmar appointed him as ambassador of Fighting Wildlife Crime.
  11. While reigning as the ONE Championship champion in both the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions, he was honored by Myanmar with a bronze statue, which was officially unveiled at the Kachin National Manau Park in Myitkyina on December 16, 2018.
  12. He and Vietnamese-Australian MMA fighter Martin Nguyen are very close friends.
  13. He was tested for the new coronavirus (COVID-19) on June 29, 2020 and the result came back positive on July 2, 2020. He recovered soon and competed on October 30, 2020 at “ONE: Inside the Matrix” in Singapore, where he lost the ONE Middleweight World Championship belt to Reinier de Ridder of the Netherlands.

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