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ONE: ‘Quest for Gold’ preview

Aung La Nsang

ONE: “Quest for Gold” is set for the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium in Yangon on Friday night (Feb. 23, 2018). Myanmar has been one of the promotion’s big success stories and this will be the sixth event to take place in this venue.

Aung La Nsang has proved a huge hit with the local audience. This Burmese born middleweight has headlined all but one of the promotion’s cards in Yangon and will be looking to become a two division champion this week.

The event also features two big fights in the lightweight division as well as the promotional debut of an undefeated Japanese bantamweight. Here’s my preview of the main card:

155lbs.: Roel Rosauro vs Li Kai Wen

Li Kai Wen (6-4) suffered the ignominy of losing his last fight by DQ due to strikes to the back of the head. He holds five ONE Championship wins and looks odds on to make it six against late replacement Roel Rosauro.

Rosauro (3-1) has only fought once in the last five years, registering a split decision win over a debutant. Despite coming from Cebu the Filipino does not appear to have a boxing background and it would be a surprise if he got anything from this fight.

135lbs.: Saw Min Min vs Ye Thway Ne

This is a rematch of a fun fight that took place last November. Ye Thway Ne (2-1) is much more experienced and decorated in Lethwei terms and he walked Saw Min Min (2-1) down, landing nearly every punch he threw.

Min Min responded with an attack that consisted almost exclusively of spinning back elbows. None of them connected but it was fun to watch until the inevitable finish and I would expect Thway Ne to score another stoppage second time around.

155lbs.: Dae Hwan Kim vs Daichi Takenaka

There are some good bantamweights on the ONE Championship roster but Bibiano Fernandes has beaten them all. Daichi Takenaka (10-0-1) can jump straight to the front of that queue with a win in Yangon.

Takanaka’s last two wins came courtesy of a rear naked choke but he’s a southpaw with serious kicking power. Dae Hwan Kim (12-2-1) is well rounded without being exceptional at anything, the Japanese fighter should have too much for him.

170lbs.: Amir Khan vs Timofey Nastyukhin

The split decision loss to Shannon Wiratchai seems a long time ago for Amir Khan (9-2). He’s won six out of six since then and has nine ONE Championship wins, more than any other fighter in the division.

He put in a tactically astute performance to outpoint Adrian Pang last time around and Khan will be careful to stay well out of the range of Timofey Nastyukhin (11-3). Expect the Singaporean to try and counter strike his way to a decision win while the Russian can be relied upon to try and win by spectacular KO.

155lbs.: Phoe Thaw vs Sor Sey

Mixed martial artists trained in Cambodia or Myanmar rarely register wins over foreign opponents. However this looks like a very fair match and Phoe Thaw (5-0) will have benefited from a training camp at Tiger Muay Thai.

A BJJ black belt recently moved to Phnom Penh and will be in the corner of Sor Sey (3-0). This bout pits the Lethwei of the Burmese born fighter against the Kun Khmer of the Cambodian but it will be interesting to see who has evolved the furthest in MMA terms.

220lbs.: Aung La Nsang vs Alexandre Machado

Alexandre Machado (8-2) has not fought for well over a year but he is a BJJ black belt who should be significantly bigger than Aung La Nsang in this fight. The Brazilian has talked about having to lose nearly 22kgs for this fight.

La Nsang (21-10-0-1) was competing at middleweight less than a year ago but while he might be smaller he is certainly more well rounded. The Burmese fighter has very good Muay Thai and solid kicks.

By his own admission Machado is a boxer / wrestler who relies on his hands and his Jiu Jitsu to win fights. That gives La Nsang more ways to win but the Brazilian should be at an advantage if they go to the ground.

La Nsang has also been the distance twice in title fights and might feel his opponent is liable to fade down the stretch. The middleweight champion will be confident of adding a second belt to his collection but will need to apply his gameplan intelligently against a dangerous opponent.

The full ONE: “Quest for Gold” card can be purchased for $9.99 USD from here and the first three fights are being shown live on the ONE Championship facebook page.

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