Aung La Nsang

Aung La Nsang (Burmese: အောင်လအန်ဆန်း; born on May 21, 1985) is a Burmese–American mixed martial artist of ethnic Kachin descent currently signed to ONE Championship, competing in both the Middleweight and Light heavyweight divisions. He is a former ONE Middleweight World Champion and ONE Light Heavyweight World Champion.

Aung La Nsang
Aung La N Sang.jpg
BornAung La Nsang
(1985-05-21) May 21, 1985 (age 36)
Myitkyina, Kachin, Burma (nowadays Myanmar)
Nickname(s)The Burmese Python[1]
NationalityAmerican[2]
Burmese (expatriate)
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight211 lb (95.7 kg; 15.1 st)
DivisionWelterweight
Middleweight
Light heavyweight
Cruiserweight
StyleBrazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Lethwei, Muay Thai, Kickboxing
StanceOrthodox
Fighting out ofFort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
TeamCrazy 88 MMA (2007–2018)[3]
Sanford MMA (2018–present)[4]
TrainerHenri Hooft
Years active2005–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total40
Wins27
By knockout13
By submission12
By decision2
Losses12
By knockout4
By submission3
By decision5
No contests1
Other information
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

He made his MMA debut in 2005 and would go on to become a major star in his native Myanmar after signing with ONE Championship and winning two titles with the organization.[5][6][7]

He is also one of the few Myanmar citizens with an international profile, given the country only began opening up to the outside world over the last decade. Aung La was the subject of unprecedented national attention in the lead-up to the fight with Russia's then-middleweight champion Vitaly Bigdash, with billboards across Yangon featuring massive portraits of the two fighters.[8]

Being a national icon of Myanmar,[9] his own bronze statue erected in 2018 at the Kachin National Manau Park in his hometown of Myitkyina. During the opening ceremony of the statue a huge crowd of thousands fans gathered.[10][11][12]

Early life and educationEdit

Aung La was born in Myitkyina, Kachin State, Myanmar to Christian Kachin parents Nsang Tu Awng, a jewellery trader, and his wife Shadan Nang Bu.[3][13] He is the third son of five siblings. He attended high school at International School Yangon.[3] In 2004, he moved to the United States to study Agriculture Science at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan.[3] He graduated in 2007 and worked as a migratory beekeeper while keeping up his MMA training.[14]

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Aung La made his professional debut in 2005, and soon built a reputation for his outstanding submission skills, earning himself the nickname of The Burmese Python. Early in his career, Aung La fought for King of the Cage and Ring of Combat as well as other, smaller promotions. However, his career got off to a slow start, with Aung La losing his first fight. At the age of 27, he became a social media sensation when footage of him knocking out Jason Louck at CFFC 17 went viral in the Kachin State. After the fight, he posed with a Kachin flag.[15]

ONE ChampionshipEdit

He made his ONE Championship debut in June 2014 and has headlined multiple shows at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon since 2016. After signing with ONE in 2014, Aung La Nsang returned to his home country of Myanmar two years later at ONE Championship: Union of Warriors, winning his bout to become a national hero.[16]

On March 18, 2016, he fought in Yangon for the first time, beating Mohamed Ali by submission.[17][18]

2017: ONE Middleweight ChampionEdit

On January 14, 2017, Aung La Nsang challenged Vitaly Bigdash for the ONE Middleweight World Championship at ONE Championship: Quest for Power.[19] He lost the fight via unanimous decision.

On June 30, 2017, he became Myanmar's first ever world champion in any mainstream sport, beating Vitaly Bigdash at ONE Championship: Light of a Nation to win the ONE Middleweight World Championship.[20]

On November 3, 2017, Aung La Nsang faced Alain Ngalani at ONE Championship: Hero's Dream in the first openweight bout in ONE Championship history, winning by submission.[21]

Later that year he met with State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss the issues in the Kachin State.[22]

2018: Title defenses & ONE Light Heavyweight ChampionEdit

On February 23, 2018, he stopped Alexandre Machado at ONE Championship: Quest for Gold in Yangon to win the ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship to become only the second fighter, after Martin Nguyen, to win ONE Championship titles in two divisions.[23]

On June 29, 2018, Aung La Nsang defended the ONE Middleweight title for the first time against Ken Hasegawa at ONE Championship: Spirit of a Warrior in Yangon in what is now considered one of the greatest title fights in ONE Championship history. He defeated Hasegawa by TKO in the fifth round to retain the title.[24]

On October 26, 2018, he beat Mohammad Karaki by TKO via punches at ONE Championship: Pursuit of Greatness in Yangon to retain the ONE Middleweight title.[25]

2019: Title defensesEdit

On March 31, 2019, he defended his title against Ken Hasegawa for a second time at ONE Championship: A New Era in Tokyo, retaining his ONE Middleweight title via technical knockout.[26]

After his title defense against Hasegawa, Aung La signed a new ten-fight contract with ONE Championship.[27]

Aung La made his first defense of the ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship against Brandon Vera at ONE Championship: Century on October 13, 2019. During the match, Aung La connected on a spinning back elbow that sent Vera stumbling and followed it through with punches.[28] Aung La defeated Vera by technical knockout in the second round and successfully defended the ONE Light Heavyweight title.[29]

2020: Losing the Middleweight ChampionshipEdit

Aung La Nsang was next expected to defend his ONE Middleweight World Championship against Reinier de Ridder , event and date to be determined.[30] However, de Ridder was later pulled from the bout. Aung La will now face former middleweight champion Vitaly Bigdash for a third time at ONE Infinity 1 on April 10, 2020.[31] However, their title fight has was canceled due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sports.

On September 9, 2020, it was revealed that Aung La would be defending his ONE Middleweight World Championship against Reinier de Ridder once again at ONE Championship: Inside the Matrix on October 30, 2020.[32][33] On October 30, 2020, Aung La lost to de Ridder by submission in the first round,[34] ending his reign as ONE Middleweight World Champion.[35]

2021: Losing the Light Heavyweight ChampionshipEdit

Aung La was expected to defend the ONE Light Heavyweight Championship against Vitaly Bigdash in a trilogy bout at ONE on TNT 4 on April 28, 2021.[36] After Vitaly Bigdash tested positive for COVID-19, Reinier de Ridder took his place.[37][38] He lost the fight and the belt by unanimous decision.[39]

Aung La faced former ONE Middleweight title contender Leandro Ataides at ONE Championship: Battleground on July 30, 2021.[40] He won the bout via knockout in the first round.[41]

Honored by TatmadawEdit

In July 2018, Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing issued an official statement of congratulations, claiming the ethnic Kachin fighter embodies the indomitable spirit of Myanmar, the pride of the nation. Aung La was invited to the Ministry of Defence and presented with a cash award as a token of appreciation and recognition by representatives of all three branches of the Myanmar armed forces.[42]

On February 24, 2018, Commander-in-Chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing and Tatmadaw (army, navy, air force) officials honored to Aung La Nsang. On behalf of the Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief, Yangon Command Commander Maj-Gen Thet Pone presented Aung La Nsang with a Myanmar Ks 10 million cash prize, as well as a certificate of honor sent by the Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief, at an event held at the Rose Garden Hotel in Yangon.[43]

Charity workEdit

Since becoming a superstar in his native land via his ONE Championship success, Aung La has committed himself to several charity projects, using his reach and fame to try and help the people of Myanmar. In particular, he has given his backing to educational charities such as "Street School Initiative" [44] and Global Citizen, as well as other causes in his native Kachin state.[45]

Aung La is a passionate advocate for Myanmar's wildlife and he has been a big supporter of Voices for momos, a campaign against illegal wildlife trade, since its launch in November 2017.

On 9 November 2018, Aung La was appointed as ambassador of Fighting Wildlife Crime by World Wide Fund for Nature, Myanmar.[46]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
40 matches 27 wins 12 losses
By knockout 13 4
By submission 12 3
By decision 2 5
No contests 1
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 27–12 (1) Leandro Ataides KO (punches) ONE Championship: Battleground July 30, 2021 1 3:45 Kallang, Singapore Catchweight (95.8 kg) bout.
Loss 26–12 (1) Reinier De Ridder Decision (unanimous) ONE on TNT 4 April 28, 2021 5 5:00 Kallang, Singapore Lost the ONE Light Heavyweight Championship (225 lb)
Loss 26–11 (1) Reinier De Ridder Submission (rear-naked choke) ONE Championship: Inside the Matrix October 30, 2020 1 3:26 Kallang, Singapore Lost the ONE Middleweight Championship (205 lb).
Win 26–10 (1) Brandon Vera TKO (punches) ONE Championship: Century Part 2 October 13, 2019 2 3:23 Tokyo, Japan Defended the ONE Light Heavyweight Championship (225 lb).
Win 25–10 (1) Ken Hasegawa TKO (punches) ONE Championship: A New Era March 31, 2019 2 4:41 Tokyo, Japan Defended the ONE Middleweight Championship (205 lb).
Win 24–10 (1) Mohammad Karaki TKO (punches) ONE Championship: Pursuit of Greatness October 26, 2018 1 2:21 Yangon, Myanmar Defended the ONE Middleweight Championship (205 lb).
Win 23–10 (1) Ken Hasegawa KO (punch) ONE Championship: Spirit of a Warrior June 29, 2018 5 3:13 Yangon, Myanmar Defended the ONE Middleweight Championship (205 lb).
Win 22–10 (1) Alexandre Machado TKO (head kick and punches) ONE Championship: Quest for Gold February 23, 2018 1 0:56 Yangon, Myanmar Won the ONE Light Heavyweight Championship (220 lb).
Win 21–10 (1) Alain Ngalani Submission (guillotine choke) ONE Championship: Hero's Dream November 3, 2017 1 4:31 Yangon, Myanmar Openweight bout.
Win 20–10 (1) Vitaly Bigdash Decision (unanimous) ONE Championship: Light of a Nation June 30, 2017 5 5:00 Yangon, Myanmar Won the ONE Middleweight Championship.
Loss 19–10 (1) Vitaly Bigdash Decision (unanimous) ONE Championship: Quest for Power January 14, 2017 5 5:00 Jakarta, Indonesia For the ONE Middleweight Championship.
Win 19–9 (1) Michal Pasternak Decision (unanimous) ONE Championship: State of Warriors October 7, 2016 3 5:00 Yangon, Myanmar
Win 18–9 (1) Aleksei Butorin Submission (arm-triangle choke) ONE Championship: Dynasty of Champions 6 July 2, 2016 2 1:57 Hefei, China
Win 17–9 (1) Mohamed Ali Submission (guillotine choke) ONE Championship: Union of Warriors March 18, 2016 1 2:38 Yangon, Myanmar
Win 16–9 (1) Mahmoud Salama KO (punches) ONE FC: Era of Champions June 14, 2014 1 1:07 Jakarta, Indonesia
Loss 15–9 (1) Jonavin Webb TKO (knee) CFFC 28: Brenneman vs. Baker August 26, 2013 1 2:41 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Welterweight bout.
Win 15–8 (1) Shedrick Goodridge Submission (guillotine choke) CFFC 26: Sullivan vs. Martinez August 17, 2013 2 1:44 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
NC 14–8 (1) Kyle Baker No Contest CFFC 23: La Nsang vs. Baker April 13, 2013 1 0:24 King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, United States Welterweight bout.
Win 14–8 Jason Louck KO (punch) CFFC 17: Nsang vs. Louck October 13, 2012 1 2:30 Dover, Delaware, United States
Win 13–8 Jesus Martinez TKO (punches) Bellator 68 May 11, 2012 1 0:36 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Catchweight (175 lb) bout.
Loss 12–8 Sam Oropeza Submission (guillotine choke) Matrix Fights 5 March 26, 2012 2 0:56 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Loss 12–7 Drew Puzon Decision (unanimous) ROC 38: Ring of Combat 38 November 18, 2011 3 4:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 12–6 Casey Manrique TKO (punches) ROC 37: Ring of Combat 37 September 9, 2011 2 1:03 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Loss 11–6 Uriah Hall KO (punch) ROC 35: Ring of Combat 35 August 8, 2011 3 1:37 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Win 11–5 Mitch Whitesel Submission (guillotine choke) ROC 34: Ring of Combat 34 February 24, 2011 1 3:09 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Middleweight debut.
Loss 10–5 Costas Philippou TKO (punches) ROC 33: Ring of Combat 33 December 3, 2010 1 0:11 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States Catchweight (188 lb) bout.
Win 10–4 Chris Price Submission (guillotine choke) C3: Furious May 9, 2009 1 1:37 Hammond, Indiana, United States
Win 9–4 Steve Evan Dau Submission (armbar) C3: Domination November 22, 2008 2 1:47 Hammond, Indiana, United States
Win 8–4 Josh Mix Submission (armbar) MFL: Michiana Fight League August 8, 2008 1 1:03 Plymouth, Indiana, United States
Loss 7–4 James Lee Submission (heel hook) KOTC: Explosion June 15, 2007 1 3:51 Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States
Win 7–3 Shawn McCully Submission (armbar) CFC 1: Cage Fighting Championships 1 March 31, 2007 1 0:59 United States
Loss 6–3 Julio Paulino Decision (unanimous) CFC 1: Cage Fighting Championships 1 March 31, 2007 3 5:00 United States
Win 6–2 Erik Brettin KO Heartland: Ground n Pound February 23, 2007 1 0:18 South Bend, Indiana, United States
Loss 5–2 Jim Martens Decision (unanimous) KOTC: Mass Destruction January 26, 2007 2 5:00 Mount Pleasant, Michigan, United States
Win 5–1 Brandon Griffin Submission (armbar) KOTC: Meltdown October 7, 2006 1 0:52 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 4–1 Jason Law Submission UFL 2 - United Fight League 2 August 25, 2006 1 Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Win 3–1 Steve Lapear KO (Punches) Heartland - Ground n Pound June 7, 2006 1 0:40 South Bend, Indiana, United States
Win 2–1 Noel Gomez Submission (armbar) UT: Ultimate Throwdown May 13, 2006 1 2:25 Mishawaka, Indiana, United States
Win 1–1 Halton Flowers KO CF: Champions Factory March 11, 2006 1 0:00 South Bend, Indiana, United States
Loss 0–1 Emerson Rushing TKO (doctor stoppage) TFC 3: Total Fight Challenge 3 March 25, 2005 1 2:24 Hammond, Indiana, United States Light Heavyweight debut.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ Aung La Nsang profile at ONE Championship
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  6. ^ "Myanmar's Biggest MMA Star Wants His People to Be Free". Vice.com. June 30, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  7. ^ "ONE Championship Two-Division Champion Aung La N Sang To Defend Middleweight Title In June". Forbes.com. June 30, 2017. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
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  9. ^ "How Music Endears Aung La N Sang To Fans". sg.news.yahoo.com. April 10, 2020.
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  13. ^ "Vitriol in cyberspace for celebrities who stayed silent". February 14, 2021.
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  34. ^ lockerroom.in@gmail.com. "ONE: Inside the Matrix: De Ridder submits Aung La N Sang in main event". lockerroom.in. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  35. ^ "ONE: Inside the Matrix — Reinier de Ridder Submits "Burmese Python"". cagesidepress. October 30, 2020.
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  40. ^ "Aung La Nsang faces Leandro Ataides at ONE: 'Battleground'". Asian MMA. July 17, 2021. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  41. ^ "ONE Championship – Battleground results: Aung La N Sang, Victoria Lee impress in stoppage wins". MMA Junkie. July 30, 2021. Retrieved July 31, 2021.
  42. ^ "Myanmar leaders must nurture the country's many potential 'Aung La Nsangs'". Coconuts Media. July 3, 2017.
  43. ^ "Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief honors Aung La N Sang". moi.gov.mm. February 25, 2018.
  44. ^ "Outreach for Children by One Championship and Aung La Nsang". Yangon Life. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  45. ^ "Aung La N Sang Was Overwhelmed Upon Returning To His Hometown In Myanmar - Fight News Asia". Fight News Asia. June 13, 2017. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  46. ^ "ကမ္ဘာ့ချန်ပီယံ အောင်လအား တောရိုင်းတိရစ္ဆာန်ဆိုင်ရာ ရာဇဝတ်မှုများ တိုက်ဖျက်မှုဆိုင်ရာသံတမန်အဖြစ် ခန့်အပ်" (in Burmese). Eleven Media Group. November 11, 2018.
  47. ^ Bryan Tucker (October 14, 2019). "World MMA Awards 2019 Results". mmafighting.com.