Aung La N Sang wants to be at his absolute peak when he faces long-time MMA icon Yushin Okami at ONE 163.
The former two-division world champion returns to the circle on November 19 with a profound sense of urgency to get his world title back. Squaring off with a fellow legend in Yushin Okami at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, is exactly the challenge he needs to showcase what he’s been working on since his last outing in February.
Speaking to ONE Championship recently, ‘The Burmese Python’ said:
“To become the best version of myself – and knowing that the best version of myself on any given day can beat anybody in the world – is what excites me and what motivates me to get better and to work on my weaknesses. And everybody has weaknesses. There’s no fighter that has no weaknesses. So for me, it’s something to make me a better fighter.”
Losing both his middleweight and light heavyweight belts in back-to-back fashion to Reinier De Ridder, was a real eye opener for the former world champion.
Before long, Aung La dedicated more time to improving in all aspects of MMA, but paid particular attention to grappling. Fans saw some of his hard work pay off in his epic trilogy match against Vitaly Bigdash at ONE: Full Circle last February.
Despite losing to the Russian stalwart by unanimous decision, Aung La displayed excellent takedown defense, preventing Bigdash from executing an early submission.
Re-watch Aung La vs. Vitaly Bigdash at ONE: Full Circle below:
Aung La N Sang reveals names of elite coaches helping him with his grappling
At the end of the day, Aung La N Sang is not a one-man show. The Sanford MMA representative has a whole slew of elite grapplers he can learn from to improve his ground game.
Despite getting the fundamentals of Brazilian jiu-jitsu down, he confesses there’s still a lot of work to be done to elevate his skills to a different level.
Speaking to SCMP MMA, ‘The Burmese Python’ revealed which team of elite coaches he’s been working with during his training camp for Yushin Okami.
Aung La N Sang said:
“Rogan Gracie. Rogan is one of them. Eric Coyne as well. More of the jiu-jitsu-heavy guys. Herbert Burns. These are the guys that I work with, a lot of the grapplers, a lot more grappling with this camp. But at the same time, my striking is going to be sharp too.”
Watch the full interview below: