Aung La Nsang has an opportunity to avenge the second loss of his ONE Championship career this week. It is an opportunity that arrived unexpectedly, the Burmese star thought he was flying to Singapore for a trilogy fight with Vitaly Bigdash when he found out that he would be rematching Reinier de Ridder instead,

“I found out that I’d be competing against Reinier in the middle of my flight. I flew out from the US thinking that I would be fighting Bigdash and in transit I had a change of opponent.”

Bigdash was the latest fighter to test positive for Covid-19 prior to a ONE Championship card. Under the circumstances La Nsang is just glad to still be fighting at ONE on TNT Part IV this week,

“I’m grateful I have an opponent. Reinier was supposed to fight on the same card and his opponent dropped out and I’m sure he’s happy he has an opponent and I am as well. At the end of the day we are professional fighters and we need to get paid.”

One trick

La Nsang tested positive for Covid-19 last year so he knows what Bigdash is going through and remains open to the possibility of fighting the Russian for the third time,

“I hope he recovers and when he’s healthy again it will make for a good matchup.”

For now his focus is on de Ridder. The Dutchman defeated him with a rear naked choke in the first round at ONE: ‘Inside the Matrix’ but La Nsang thinks the second fight will play out very differently,

“I’ve made adjustments (since) the last bout. I know I can beat him, he’s a one trick pony and I’m more of a well rounded fighter. I’m going to break him and I’m going to put him away.”

Better matchup

There were some suggestions that he might have taken de Ridder lightly before the first fight but La Nsang dismissed them,

“I didn’t underestimate him (but) I’ve made a lot of adjustments in training. You will definitely see a different fight this time around.”

Bigdash has not fought since 2018 and has lost two out of his last three. By contrast de Ridder is undefeated, holds a 13-0 record and is the reigning ONE Championship middleweight champion.

So it is no surprise t o hear La Nsang say that he actually prefers this replacement fight to the original,

“It’s a better matchup in my opinion. I’m here to prove myself and I think this is a  good way to prove myself.”

Moving up

Although he was only given a few days notice that he would be fighting at light heavyweight rather than middleweight La Nsang feels he will be more effective at a higher weight class,

“I think I’ll have more power (at light heavyweight) I think I’ll be a little bit stronger.”

He turns 36 next month but La Nsang believes he is at his athletic peak and it’s a point he hopes to prove in Singapore this week,

“I’m getting into my prime, the best version of myself. I want to give the fan exciting fights.”

De Ridder believes he will submit La Nsang for a second time but the Burmese veteran says he doesn’t need to worry about what his opponent is thinking or doing. He believes he will simply be too good on the day,

“He can think what he wants. I’m preparing to be the best version of myself and (that) is a bad matchup for anyone in the world.”