Aung La Nsang returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion at ONE: ‘Battleground’ tonight as he put away Leandro Ataides with an explosive first round knockout at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The Sandford MMA man became one of the most celebrated fighters on the ONE Championship roster when he conquered both the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions in 2018. But the 36-year-old lost both belts to Holland’s Reinier De Ridder in back-to-back losses.

It was a different story here with the ‘Burmese Python’ back to his brilliant best. Ataides held his own in the opening exchanges and was able to touch La Nsang with the jab.

Real intent

Characteristically, the former champion loaded plenty of power behind his strikes and uncorked some deadly outside leg kicks as he pressed forward. Having spent his camp training with De Ridder, Ataides timed a beautiful double leg takedown.

La Nsang did give up his back but ensured there would be no repeat of his recent losses as he worked his way back to his feet. Ataides scored with an uppercut and a left hand but La Nsang responded with a head kick.

The Brazilian found joy with the body shot that was as good as it got for the BJJ specialist. La Nsang began striking with real intent.

Intense celebration

A right cross to the body preceded a sweet shot with the left that clipped Ataides on the chin. A right hook from the clinch followed. Then came the knee.

A left right combination signaled the end for Ataides. Another flurry of left-right combos folded the former title challenger against the cage with the final right hook sealing the victory for the Burmese Icon.

The finish came at the 3:45  mark and La Nsang held a look of intensity as he wheeled away. His record climbs to 27-12, while Ataides falls to 11-5.

Perfect start

Victoria Lee continued her perfect start to life in ONE Championship as she submitted China’s Wang Luping in the first round. The younger sister of current champions Christian Lee and Angela Lee came marching forward on the opening bell.

She was surprisingly taken down by the WLF veteran but Lee soon gained control, wrapping her opponent up in a body lock and slamming her to the canvas. From there, the 17-year-old found full mount before taking the back.

The young starlet threw out several right hands to soften Wang up before locking in the rear naked choke. As Wang resisted, Lee transitioned between mount and the back as she looked for the finish.

Mounted triangle

Then, switching up her offence to include elbows, the Hawaii-native locked in the mounted triangle. The elbows continued to rain down from the top position.

Sensing her moment, Lee then moved for an armbar. It didn’t take long for Wang to succumb as ‘the Prodigy’ sealed her second consecutive submission victory.

Lee extends her burgeoning record to 2-0 while Wang slips to 3-3.

Biggest win

Ritu Phogat secured arguably the biggest victory of her career as she overcame Lin Heqin. The Chinese fighter came into the bout on an 11 fight winning streak, while Phogat was seeking to bounce back from her split decision loss to Bi Nguyen at ONE: ‘Dangal’.

The 27-year-old started brightly but it was Lin who appeared to get the better of the opening exchanges as she utilized her range – connecting with body and leg kicks.

Phogat responded with a right hand in the clinch against the fence but Lin replied with some sharp right hands. Working to her strengths the Indian was able to take her opponent down and into the scarf hold position.

Well timed

Lin went for the back, but Phogat reacted well and went hunting for head and arm locks. When they returned to their feet the Chinese fighter landed a clean inside leg kick and finished the round on top, timing her shots well and landing crisply.

Phogat planted some solid right hands at the start of the second stanza. Pressuring her opponent up against the fence she then spun Lin down towards the canvas.

Phogat worked her way into side control and dropped some ground and pound, continuing to land with volume as the round wore on. Lin did some strong work with her jab in the third round but was soon on the end of another takedown.

Dominant display

Returning to side control, Phogat was able to showcase her dominance, controlling Lin while dishing out shots before moving into full mount. The final round really punctuated what was an impressive showing from the former wrestler.

Her ability to dominate on the ground shone through as all three judges awarded her the decision. The victory takes her record to 5-1, while Lin’s first loss since 2016 takes her to 14-3-1.

ONE: ‘Battleground’, Singapore, July 30th
Muay Thai: Sam-A Gaiyanghadao def. Prajanchai PKSaenchaigym via Decision (Majority) Wins strawweight title
Aung La Nsang def. Leandro Ataides via KO at 3:45 of round 1
Gustavo Balart def. Ryuto Sawada via Decision (Unanimous)
Ritu Phogat def. Lin Heqin via Decision (Unanimous)
Jeremy Pacatiw def. Chen Rui via Decision (Unanimous)
Victoria Lee def. Wang Luping via Submission (Armbar) at 3:22 of round 1