Will Aung La N Sang make history and claim the ONE World Light Heavyweight crown in Yangon on February 23? Alexandre Machado will beg to differ.
ONE Championship comes to Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar for the first time in 2018 for ONE: Quest for Gold.
The main event will see local hero and ONE World Middleweight Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang takes on Alexandre “Bebezao” Machado for the vacated ONE World Light Heavyweight Championship following the retirement of the current champion, Roger Gracie.
Co-headlining the event is a match between two lightweight contenders in New Zealand-based Malaysian Ev “The Extraterrestrial” Ting and Costa Rican fighter Ariel “Tarzan” Sexton. The two heavy hitters are expected to deliver an exciting bout that will take the victor another step closer to world title contention.
Also on the card is undefeated Japanese fighter Daichi Takenaka making his promotional debut against ONE veteran Dae Hwan Kim of South Korea, while Filipino featherweight Roel Rosauro will also make his debut against another ONE veteran in Li Kai Wen of China in the opening fight.
As one of the biggest martial arts promotions in Asia, ONE’s stable of fighters also consist of some of the best talents in the region. The upcoming card will have no shortage of homegrown Asian talents showcasing their skills in the cage.
Here are some of the Southeast Asian fighters and their matches that would be worth watching out for in ONE: Quest for Gold:
"The Burmese Python" returns home to challenge for his second divisional title. The QUEST FOR GOLD has begun.Yangon |…
Amir Khan (Singapore) vs. Timofey Nastyukhin (Russia)
Not to be confused with the British professional boxer, Khan is a 23-year-old fighter fighting out of Singapore. His youth hasn’t stopped him from compiling an impressive 9-1 record in ONE, with one submission and seven knockouts – the most KOs in ONE’s history.
He’ll have his work cut out for him as he faces Russia’s Nastyukhin, who is fresh from a unanimous decision victory over Koji Ando following almost a year away from the cage recovering from injuries. Prior to suffering a career-threatening injury against Kotetsu Boku in November 2016, Nastyukhin all of Nastyukhin’s bouts never made it past the opening round.
With two aggressive fighters on opposite sides of the cage, there is a high chance that this fight will not go the distance.
Phoe Thaw (Myanmar) vs. Sor Sey (Cambodia)
At 33 years of age, Thaw isn’t exactly the perfect image of an emerging talent. However, the former Lethwei fighter transitioned to MMA in 2015 and has impressed with a 5-0 record including four wins by knockout and is pegged to be the next breakout star of the country.
Like N Sang, Thaw is fighting out of Yangon, and will look to please the hometown crowd with a resounding victory over Cambodia’s Sor Sey. The 36-year-old Cambodian is on a three-fight win streak, but was last seen in a ONE cage in 2015. Incidentally, he will be the first fighter from another country that Thaw will face in his ONE Championship career.
The matchup will feature two native martial arts disciplines in lethwei (Myanmar) and Kun Khmer (Cambodia) going up against each other.
Saw Min Min (Myanmar) vs. Ye Thway Ne (Myanmar)
Two young talents from the host country will battle it out as 18-year-old Saw Min Min will battle 20-year-old Ye Thway Ne in the flyweight division.
Saw Min Min (2-0) won a two-fight tournament in last year’s ONE: Light of a Nation, knocking out his first opponent and submitting his opponent in the final. Ye Thway Ne (2-1), meanwhile, won his fight in the same event, but had to withdraw from the finals due to injury. He knocked out Saw Thar Nge in ONE: Hero’s Dream, where he was originally slated to face Saw Min Min.
The two will finally get the chance to face each other in this upcoming event, with both fighters raring to prove that their early success is no fluke.