For the sixth time in three years, ONE Championship will rock Yangon, Myanmar.
The world’s most exciting martial arts action will return to the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium on Friday, 23 February, to hold ONE: QUEST FOR GOLD.
In the main event, ONE Middleweight World Champion and Myanmar sporting icon “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang will challenge Brazil’s Alexandre Machado for the vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Championship.
Every time ONE heads to Yangon, it is always a special occasion. Here are five facts about the organization’s previous events in Myanmar.
#1 February’s Main Event Will Be Yangon’s Fourth World Title Bout
The Thuwunna Indoor Stadium has played host to a trio of unforgettable world title bouts over the past three years.
Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes successfully defended the ONE Bantamweight World Championship at the country’s inaugural show by knocking out Toni Tauru in July 2015, while Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito retained the ONE Strawweight World Championship by submitting Joshua Pacio with a rear-naked choke in October 2016.
Most recently, Aung La N Sang defeated then-unbeaten Russian titleholder Vitaly Bigdash for the ONE Middleweight World Title last June.
Now, the country will get its fourth world title match, and an opportunity to witness history yet again. Aung La N Sang will attempt to become the second two-division world champion in the promotion’s history, as he challenges Machado for the vacant ONE Light Heavyweight World Title.
#2 Aung La N Sang Did Not Appear In The First Yangon Event
Although Myanmar’s biggest hero, Aung La N Sang, made his promotional debut in July of 2014, he did not feature in ONE’s inaugural event in Myanmar, 2015’s ONE: KINGDOM OF WARRIORS.
“The Burmese Python” only made his roaring Myanmar homecoming in March 2016, when he submitted Egyptian Top Team’s Mohamed Ali via guillotine choke in the first round. He followed that up with another terrific showing that October, earning a decisive unanimous decision win over former ONE Light Heavyweight World Title challenger Michal Pasternak.
Those were all overshadowed by his epic world title victory over Bigdash, and then his colossal win over Alain “The Panther” Ngalani in ONE’s first-ever Open Weight Super-Bout last November. His next appearance will be his fifth in the country, and he will be keen to keep his perfect home record
#3 Four Myanmar Tournament Champions Have Been Crowned
Local tournaments have always been a great way to introduce homegrown athletes. To date, there have been four ONE Myanmar Tournament Champions crowned in Yangon.
In July 2015, at the organization’s first show, Tha Pyay Nyo claimed the inaugural ONE Myanmar Featherweight Tournament Championship, while Thway Thit Aung captured the inaugural ONE Myanmar Lightweight Tournament Championship.
Phoe Thaw then became the second ONE Myanmar Featherweight Tournament Champion in October 2016, after getting a pair of first-round stoppages. Now sporting an unbeaten 5-0 record, Phoe Thaw may just be the country’s next breakout martial arts star.
Finally, Saw Min Min captured the ONE Myanmar Flyweight Tournament Championship in June 2017, defeating both of his adversaries in the opening round.
#4 Over 75 Percent Of ONE’s Yangon Bouts Have Ended Via Stoppage
There have been 47 total bouts over five ONE Championship shows in Myanmar. Of those 47 contests, only 11 of them have gone the distance.
That means a staggering 36 bouts have featured stoppages, which is almost a 77 percent finishing rate. Breaking that down even more, 23 happened by either KO or TKO, and the other 13 were by submission.
In Yangon, ONE’s warriors like to finish and keep it out of the judges hands, so it is a good bet that the upcoming show in February will feature the same levels of entertainment and excitement
#5 Adriano Moraes Began His World Title Comeback In Yangon
After losing the ONE Flyweight World Championship to Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov in November 2015, Adriano Moraes’ comeback trail began in Yangon.
“Mikinho” met Filipino knockout artist Eugene Toquero in March 2016, and it was one of the most exciting matches of the year. Toquero nearly knocked out the Brazilian, with a pair of flying knees sending Moraes reeling to the opposite side of the cage.
However, Moraes showed the heart of a champion, regrouped, and pulled off a come-from-behind brabo choke late in the first round to win the bout. After becoming the interim titleholder, he would eventually face Akhmetov in a rematch in August 2017, and wound up defeating him to become the undisputed ONE Flyweight World Champion.