Aung La N Sang Begins Quest to Regain Middleweight Title, Starting with Leandro Ataides

·3-min read

Former two-division ONE World Champion Aung La “The Burmese Python” N Sang is extra motivated. The 36-year-old veteran mixed martial artist from Florida by way of Myanmar is ready to kickstart his second run at the ONE Middleweight World Title.

“It’s a make-or-break battle for me. But I know the work that I’ve been putting in, and I’m confident in my team. They’ve trained me good, and I’m very confident that I’ll come out on top in this [next] bout,” Aung La told ONE Championship.

“I don’t have a doubt in my mind that I’m going to get my middleweight belt back. I’ve done it once, and I’ll do it again. I’ll get my belt back.”

Aung La is scheduled to face Leandro “Wolf” Ataides in the co-main event of ONE: BATTLEGROUND, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore on Friday, 30 July.

Ataides is a former ONE World Title challenger, and one of the most highly regarded middleweights in ONE Championship. “Wolf” has won three of his last four fights, including wins over Michal Pasternak and former titleholder Vitaly Bigdash.

Analyzing his next challenge, Aung La shared his thoughts on Ataides as an opponent, and states he’s not worried about what “Wolf” brings to the table.

“Ataides has some holes in his striking. I think he’s very, very head-on in his wrestling and grappling as well, and I tend to do better with people like that,” Aung La said.

“I believe I do better on the feet, and I think I can negate his grappling and his wrestling. I see this bout being won on the feet. I see this bout being won with my movement and my speed. I see this bout being done with a knockout.”

ONE: BATTLEGROUND marks ONE Championship’s much-anticipated return in the second half of 2021. In the main event, Thai legend Sam-A Gaiyanghadao defends his ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Title against young phenom Prajanchai PK.Saenchai Muaythaigym. Also seeing action are female atomweights Ritu Phogat and Victoria Lee who compete in separate bouts.

Aung La has had a rough go in the Circle as of late. He surrendered both his middleweight and light heavyweight world titles to the same man, Reinier de Ridder, in the span of less than a year. However, “The Burmese Python” is determined to turn the tide and reclaim his lost glory.

“It is sad and depressing, but you got to analyze how the match went and analyze how you can improve and grow,” Aung La said.

“My mindset is more of a growth mindset, so I really had to work on the things in the match that didn’t go well. It’s a learning experience for me, and it’s fine. As depressing as it is, as sad as it is, I take it as a lesson in life.”

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