Month: September 2019
ONE Championship light heavyweight and middleweight champion Aung La N Sang is more than a two-belt titleholder. He is a national hero for his native Myanmar, and through his success, he has changed and saved lives, bringing the strife-ridden country together.
He never imagined that would happen to him, but it did, and he accepts the responsibility of being a role model. His demeanor, drive, work ethic and values make him a great representative of the ONE Championship mantra in and out of the ring.
Also a wildlife activist, his sights these days are set on his next fight.
A current two-division world champion and the 2018 Fighters Only World MMA Awards International Fighter of the Year, Aung La N Sang likely remains an unknown to all but the most hardcore of MMA fans.
That doesn’t bother him one bit.
“I respect everybody, and if people don’t respect me, it doesn’t bother me,” N Sang told MMA Junkie. “Obviously, the Western media is not going to cover ONE Championship as much. The fact that I’ve been fighting mostly in Asia doesn’t help, either. But skillwise, I know where I’m at. I’m in the room at Hard Knocks 365. I know what I’m capable of, and I train with Kamaru Usman and the best guys in the world, so it’s not a big deal for me.”
N Sang is the reigning middleweight and light heavyweight titleholder under the ONE Championship banner. A native of Myanmar, N Sang relocated to the U.S. to attend college, launching his professional MMA career shortly after. He registered early appearances with regional stalwarts such as Cage Fury Fighting Championships and Ring of Combat, even fighting once under the Bellator banner.
Saturday is a busy day in the MMA world. UFC 242 (2 p.m. ET, ESPN+) and its lightweight title headliner between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier is getting the bulk of the attention. But Bellator has a compelling card Saturday night in San Jose, California, that won’t actually go head-to-head in terms of time slot with the big UFC pay-per-view event.
Bellator 226 (10 p.m. ET, DAZN) features a heavyweight title main event pitting champion Ryan Bader against veteran Cheick Kongo. Also on tap is the launch of the Bellator Featherweight World Grand Prix, with four of the eight first-round tournament fights happening on the card from SAP Center.
Here’s what to watch at Bellator 226: