Aung La N Sang begins the path of redemption


Aung La N Sang will begin his path to redemption at A battlefield Friday July 30 in Singapore. He is not the only one.

Aung La N Sang begins the path of redemption

The Sanford MMA rep was at the top of not one but two divisions in A championship. “The Burmese python” was more than a world champion. He was also a symbol for Myanmar and the growth of mixed martial arts throughout the region.

However, a booming Dutchman came to seek his gold.

In two consecutive fights, Reinier “The Dutch Knight” De Ridder beat Sanford MMA product to win the ONE World Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Championships. This left Aung La N Sang back in the squad and had to work his way through to a rematch.

Standing in front of him inside the ONE Championship Circle at ONE: Battleground will be Brazil Leandro Ataides.

Ataides shares a similar motivation as he too has just lost to De Ridder and is looking to return to the winning column to oust the Dutch man.

Before meeting the eventual king of the middleweight division, Ataides was enjoying a three-game winning streak with two decisive knockouts. The victim of one of these saves was a former champion Vitaly Bigdash. The Brazilian looked set to be next for “The Burmese Python” and gold.

But it wasn’t after a hotly contested fight that ended in a split decision loss to “The Dutch Knight”.

The shared disappointment and shared desire to avenge the defeats of the current king help to create a great story in this main co-event contest.

The action in the ring is almost guaranteed to be fireworks. Aung La N Sang and Ataides are both advancing warriors with heavy arsenals. The Brazilian enters with a finish rate of 73% and that of Aung La N Sang at 92%.

But the ramifications of the fight only increase its importance in the middleweight division.

Although “The Burmese Python” has lost consecutive fights to De Ridder, he is still the current main contender in the division. His long reign as the champion is not forgotten, and defeating another contender such as Aidas makes a rematch viable at middleweight.

For Ataides, he is closer than anyone to beating De Ridder. He can secure his rematch by taking out the former champ and getting his belt shot.

It is impossible to say that this is a title eliminator, but there is no doubt that the result will have a major impact on the image of the title. They’re two of the best middleweights today, and a win will bring them closer to the end goal.

ONE: Battleground airs Friday, July 30 at 8:30 a.m. EST / 5:30 a.m. PST on Bleacher Report, the B / R app or the B / R YouTube channel.


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