‘The Burmese Python’ Aung La N Sang is excited about the opportunity to compete against another Asian MMA legend in Japanese star Yushin ‘Thunder’ Okami.
In an interview with ONE Championship ahead of his highly-anticipated return at ONE 163 on November 19, Aung La shared his enthusiasm about facing a legendary fighter that he himself watched as a fan:
“He’s one of the Asian mixed martial artists I looked up to in the last 10 years and he’s fought in different high-level organizations, so he’s a great one to test myself with.”
Aung La N Sang is taking his first step towards reclaiming the glory he once had under the ONE Championship banner. At his height, ‘The Burmese Python’ held both the ONE middleweight and light heavyweight world titles amidst a seven-fight win streak that featured notable wins over Vitaly Bigdash, Alain Ngalani, and Brandon Vera.
His dominating streak was snapped in 2020 when ‘The Dutch Knight’ Reinier de Ridder took his middleweight crown. De Ridder then continued his mastery of 'The Burmese Python' in 2021, taking the light heavyweight crown as well.
Aung La bounced back with a first-round knockout of Leandro Ataides, but his lone appearance in 2022 thus far put him back into the loss column with a third-round knockout defeat against former middleweight world champion Vitaly Bigdash.
Aung La N Sang anticipates having struggles against Yushin Okami at ONE 163
Aung La N Sang expects another tough matchup for himself when he competes against tenured Japanese MMA legend Yushin Okami at ONE 163 in less than two weeks' time.
Discussing how the two stars will match up against one another, ‘The Burmese Python’ suggested that Okami’s length and grappling skills will prove to be problematic:
“Stylistically, I think he’s problematic for me. He’s longer and he has more range as a grappler, and that’s the kind of fight that I have problems with. And so this is stylistically, for him, a good matchup, and for me, I feel like it’s a good matchup too.”
Both fighters will enter the bout in desperate need of a win.
Going 1-3 in his last four bouts, Aung La N Sang will have to secure a victory in order to stay relevant in the ONE Championship world title picture. Meanwhile, Okami was victorious in his last outing, but that was more than three years ago and he is currently 1-2 inside the circle.