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Aung La Nsang credits Vitaly Bigdash for his growth in ONE Championship - "I have nothing but love for him"

Aung La Nsang owes his career growth after battling Vitaly Bigdash | Photo: ONE Championship
Aung La Nsang owes his career growth after battling Vitaly Bigdash | Photo: ONE Championship
Ernest Leo Hernandez
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Aung La Nsang will be back in the ONE Championship Circle and is set for his trilogy matchup with Vitaly Bigdash.

It has been more than four years since both fighters fought but looking back, 'The Burmese Phython' is grateful to his old rival for his growth in the sport.

Three years ago today, Aung La N Sang defeated Vitaly Bigdash to become Myanmar's first World Champion! 🇲🇲 @AungLANsang #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship https://t.co/MlyZWAJ3Nr

After winning the middleweight title in his last encounter with Bigdash, Nsang went on to win his next six bouts in ONE Championship. He then moved up to light heavyweight and became a two-division champion before losing both belts to Reinier de Ridder.

It was one ride that Nsang will never forget and the 36-year-old fighter has nothing but respect for Bigdash.

"It’s going to be amazing because after our last bout together, he’s the reason why I am where I am. I have nothing but love for him," said Nsang in an interview with the South China Morning Post. "He’s a great competitor and I am the man who I am because of him- by going ten rounds with him."

Meanwhile, Bigdash did not have the same success in his MMA career after his match with Nsang. The Russian fighter lost to Leandro Ataides a year later, injuries then hampered his career.

The former middleweight champion returned to ONE Championship three years later and won his comeback bout with Fan Rong with a third round submission.

This is a fight that Nsang saw coming after he had just come off an impressive first round win over Leandro Ataides in July 2021.

"We have been wanting to get the trilogy match on for a few years now. It’s perfect time. He’s coming off a win and I’m coming off a win."

WATCH: Aung La Nsang's interview with South China Morning Post below:

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Aung La Nsang not underestimating Vitaly Bigdash heading into their ONE Championship trilogy matchup

'The Burmese Phython' monitored Bigdash's return to ONE Championship and took notice. He feels that his former opponent had a great comeback win and still sees the Russian fighter as a challenge to compete against.

"Vitaly is well-rounded. He has great wrestling. His striking is good, he has good kicks, he has clean striking, good guard– he’s no joke, man," said Nsang. "His performance was all right. It wasn’t spectacular but he got a finish over a very tough opponent who’s only been finished once before. It’s going to be a fun one for sure."

Edited by Josh Evanoff
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