Aung La N Sang (T) (ONE Championship)

Aung La N Sang Has Sights Set on Title Reclamation

Aung La N Sang had his eyes on Anatoly Malykhin’s quest for history at ONE 166: Qatar, as the ONE Championship veteran had a vested interest in seeing who he was chasing in the middleweight division.

The main event bout was all for the Russian, who won by TKO when Reinier de Ridder couldn’t answer the referee’s request to stand in the third round. The end result came as no shock for the man from Myanmar.

“It was a great fight. It went as I expected. We all know how some people can be stylistically a bad matchup for a certain fighter, and it doesn’t really matter what you do in a year’s time. Some people are just stylistically a bad matchup,” Aung La N Sang told ONE.


“Anatoly defended all the takedowns and was able to land his game plan which is to box him up. It pretty much broke Reinier in the third round.”

After claiming the ONE middleweight MMA championship to go along with the light heavyweight and heavyweight crowns, Malykhin achieved a feat no one in MMA history has done – holding three world titles simultaneously.

“The Burmese Python” offered up his admiration for the accomplishment.

“Anatoly is now a three-division champ. Congrats to him. It’s something that hasn’t been done in ONE Championship history, so congrats to him and his team,” Aung La said.

The former two-division titleholder has a unique perspective on the challenges that lie ahead for the dominant Russian athlete. He knows that keeping the crown is a lot more difficult than rushing up the mountain to claim it in the first place.

“It’s very impressive, but defending is gonna be a lot harder, for sure. Defending in all three divisions is gonna be a lot harder,” Aung La admitted.

“The Burmese Python” wants to be one of the first athletes to challenge for the gold. It is his mission to reclaim the ONE middleweight MMA title, and he is clear that is the only reason he still competes.

“That’s the only reason why I keep fighting – to be champion again. That’s the only reason why I’m fighting still. I could retire now, but it wouldn’t be fun. It wouldn’t be fun for the ONE Championship middleweight division,” the former two-division king explained.

If Malykhin is the champion when he goes for the gold once again, Aung La is sure it will be an exciting matchup.

The 38-year-old legend has many highlight-reel finishes, including each of his last three victories, so putting that streak against the perfect record of Malykhin would be sure to electrify audiences.

“If we were to fight, there’s no way that any of us would back down, and we’ll put on a great show,” the middleweight slugger offered.

“Think about it – every fight that I fight, I fight for the finish. Every fight that he fights, he fights for the finish. There would be no yellow card in that fight. It would for sure be a barnburner for the fans.”

Malykhin has options across three divisions, and there is no word on which crown he’ll defend first.

But that’s perfectly fine for Aung La, as he’ll wait patiently for his opportunity for one last crack at the middleweight throne.

“I don’t care how long it takes. I’m still gunning for the title. And it’s one of those things that I don’t need to be in this sport anymore, but I want to be because I still have that hunger,” he said.

“I still want to be champion again, and I still want to put on great shows for the fans. My job as a professional fighter is not done.”