‘I am stronger than ever,’ says Aung La N Sang


Photo: Thet Ko/Mizzima

The "Burmese python" Aung La N Sang is ready. Ready for his "toughest test" as he told the media this Wednesday on an open workout in Myanmar Plaza. On Friday 3 of November, the middleweight world champion Aung La N Sang will face heavyweight Alain "The panther" Ngalani in the non-title open weight bout called "ONE: Hero's dream" in Yangon.

To prepare the fight, he worked only with heavyweights, Aung La N Sang told Mizzima. Myanmar's first-ever mixed martial arts (MMA) champion said that he had sparred eight straights rounds with four different heavyweights. Furthermore, he had been working on his wrestling, which in some of his last fights seemed to be "kind of weak" as he remembers. Describing his actual physical condition Aung La N Sang highlights"I am stronger than ever and well prepared." If Alain Ngalani gives him an opening sometimes in the fight, he will be "able to take advantage of it,” the "Burmese python" said.

But there is no easy task waiting for him. Alain Ngalani is a Muay Thai and kickboxing heavyweight world champion and holds ONE heavyweight knockout records. Originally, he is from Cameroon, but lives and trains now in Hong Kong.  Aung La N Sang describes his opponent as a "fast, explosive, super athletic heavyweight,” that moves "like a lightweight."

Fighting against him is going to "open up doors for superfights,” Aung L N Sang told Mizzima. In the future, he does not plan to change his weight class long-term and probably go back to middleweight." It is not quite a good idea for me to fight heavyweight all the time, I do have to watch out for my longevity,” he said.

Four months ago, on 30 of June 2017, Aung La N Sang captured the middleweight title belt of ONE Championship, Asia’s largest promotion. With this title, the 32-year-old became an iconic fighter in Myanmar. "I do not forget, how much support I am getting here,” he clarifies. This support would drive and motivate him.  Despite the fame, he stayed humble as he said: "I see myself as a regular working man and not as a hero. But because I am able to do what I love, every day is a blessing."

Aung La N Sang was born in Myitkyina, Kachin State. At the age of 18, he flew to the United States, where he studied agricultural science. In 2012  he got famous in his home state after dedicating some winnings to Kachin refugees and holding a Kachin flag in front of the cameras. At the end of October the mixed martial arts fighter, who has previously spoken about his ethnicity, met for the first time Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. They also talked about his origins, Aung La N Sang said: "She is receptive, and she is very aware of what's going on." Furthermore, she had encouraged him to use the platform he got through his career for helping the younger generation. Something, that is already in the mind of the "Burmese Python" as he said. If he gets retired, he will "plan to spread his knowledge" and do good with the platform he has.

For his challenge on Friday, Aung La N Sang gets support from Myanmar's State Counsellor. But since he won the world championship, the fights appear less stressful to him. " There is no more pressure," he said. Before this victory he had "twelve years of hard work, twelve years of wins and losses with nothing to show for it,”. With the world championship belt he will still "perform to my best,” but now "it is fun,” he said.

More Articles