Aung La Nsang is on top of the world. The two division ONE Championship title holder is a hero in his homeland and scored wins at two huge events in Tokyo last year.
At ONE: ‘A New Era’ he stopped Ken Hasegawa in a middleweight title match. It was the third time he had defended that particular belt and the 34 year old has been the champion since 2017.
Then, in the same venue, he beat reigning heavyweight champion Brandon Vera. That bout at ONE: ‘Century’ had La Nsang’s light heavyweight title on the line.
Holding belts in two different weight classes and being one of ONE Championship’s most marketable fighters gives La Nsang plenty of options. He hasn’t fought in Yangon since 2018 and they would love to see him in action there.
Putting the identity of potential opponents aside there is one goal he has in mind for 2020. La Nsang would like to fight in an outdoor stadium in Yangon, the city he grew up in,
“At the end of the year, I hope we can hold a soccer stadium event in Myanmar when it doesn’t rain so we can do it with the open roof. Imagine 50,000 people in the stadium in Myanmar. That would be crazy!”
But it takes two to tango. And La Nsang sees one middleweight contender looming large on the horizon,
“There is a Dutch guy who is undefeated at 11-0, Reinier de Ridder. He has two fights in ONE Championship, two quick wins. That would be a good fight for me,” he said.
Two other options stand out to La Nsang at middleweight and he wants to fight them both,
“Also, Vitaly Bigdash and Leandro Ataides. Those would be good challenges. Those are three people that come to the top of my head. I want to fight all of them. Line them up.”
La Nsang has already beaten Bigdash once although they are 1-1 after two title bouts. Meanwhile he was scheduled to defend his middleweight title against Ataides in 2018 but that bout fell through and the Brazilian has been out of action ever since.
One fighter who he will not be facing is Vitor Belfort. The UFC veteran looks set to make his ONE Championship debut in 2020 but that is not a matchup which would interest La Nsang,
“He and I train together. I’ll be in his training camp, I’ll be helping him get ready for his ONE Championship debut whoever it is against. But I don’t see myself ever fighting Vitor.”
If La Nsang decided to walk away from the sport now he would do so as a two division champion beloved in his native Myanmar. He’s a veteran of 37 fights and recently signed a lucrative long term contract with ONE Championship.
But La Nsang is not exactly lacking in motivation. Perhaps one day he will head into acting or politics or any of the other paths open to an athlete with his profile and platform.
But for the time being he is fully focused on his fighting career,
“I’m still very healthy and I have the best team, the best guys around me. I have to make the most out of it. Really, 2020 is going to be an important year for me, and I’m still very, very hungry.”