Aung La N Sang gave Vitaly Bigdash an early beating in today’s “ONE Championship 56: Light of a Nation” headliner. That was all the Myanmar native needed. He rode the momentum of the early high all the way to the end and claimed the middleweight championship to send the crowd into frenzy.
The championship bout between Sang (20-10) and Bigdash (9-1), which served as the main event of the online pay-per-view card at Thuwunna National Indoor Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar, was a rematch of an exciting matchup from ONE Championship 51 in January, which Bigdash won by unanimous decision.
The rematch didn’t produce the same level of thrilling moments over five rounds, and the final outcome was a different one. Sang exacted some revenge with the unanimous decision to hand Bigdash his first career loss.
Sang had Bigdash in more trouble in the rematch than any point in the first fight. He dropped the Russian with a massive strike early in the opening round and essentially kept Bigdash in a desperate defensive mode for the majority of the five-minute frame.
Bigdash showed inspiring durability and composure, and successfully got himself back in the fight as time wore on. Sang expended a lot of energy searching for the early stoppage, and despite being hurt badly, Bigdash displayed superior conditioning to his opponent.
Sang never allowed Bigdash to run away with the fight, though, and despite giving up numerous takedowns in the latter portion of the contest, his early work ultimately made the difference. ONE Championship prioritizes damage and the threat of a stoppage higher than anything else in its scoring criteria, and while an argument can be made Bigdash’s takedowns would have given him the win under the unified rules, Sang was declared the victor under the given ruleset.
The crowd was jubilant following Sang’s title win. He’s engaged in 50 total minutes of fighting against Bigdash, with a trilogy likely on the horizon. That’s no problem for Sang, though. “The Burmese Python” said he’s willing to put his belt on the line against all comers.
“I cannot do this without God, I cannot do this without my teammates, I cannot do this without you, Myanmar,” Sang said in his post-fight interview. “I’m not talented, I’m not good, I’m not fast. With you I have courage and strength to win a world title. Myanmar, how does that sound? You have a world champion. Thank you all for your love and support. I will never quit, I will keep fighting and I will take on any challenger.”
Yamaguchi rebounds with slick submission
Patience was key in Mei Yamaguchi’s (16-10-1) bout with Jenny Huang (5-2). She prioritized position over submission for more than eight minutes, but when the opening arrived to finish the fight with a rear-naked choke, she did not miss out.
Yamaguchi rebounded from a two-fight losing skid and winless 2016 when she essentially overwhelmed Huang with superior grappling en route to the second-round submission.
Youth can often be an advantage in MMA, but in this scenario the experience of Yamaguchi, 34, was obvious against a younger foe with far fewer fights. Huang made several carless errors in the fight, such as dropping for a guillotine choke which allowed Yamaguchi to get on top, take the back and force the tap at the 4:00 mark of Round 2.
With the win, Yamaguchi puts herself in position for a potential future rematch with ONE Championship atomweight titleholder Angela Lee, who she battled in a memorable 2016 “Fight of the Year” candidate at ONE Championship 42.
Pucci batters Yabo for first-round finish
The performance from Pucci was short and sweet. He put Yabo on his back seconds after the fight began, and within a flash was in mount. He unleashed a seemingly endless stream of punches to Yabo, who was simply trying to survive, before the referee prevented any further punishment by waving off the contest at the 2:12 mark of Round 2.
Nyo scores 16-second KO
Tha Pyay Nyo (4-0) remained undefeated in MMA competition with his most impressive victory yet, finishing Htet Aung Oo (0-1) with a perfectly placed punch just 16 seconds into their bantamweight fight.
The win swift and clean. Nyo set his opponent up with the jab, waited a beat for Aung Oo to throw a shot in return, then came over the op with a massive right hand to the chin. Aung Oo crumpled to the canvas immediately and Nyo put the exclamation point on the performance with an extra shot to his downed opponent before the referee stepped in.
ONE Championship 56 results:
- Aung La N Sang def. Vitaly Bigdash via unanimous decision – to win middleweight title
- Saw Min Min def. Shwe Kyaung Tahr via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 1:43 – flyweight tournament final
- Mei Yamaguchi def. Jenny Huang via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:00
- Bruno Pucci def. Jimmy Yabo via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:12
- Tha Pyay Nyo def. Htet Aung Oo via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:16
- Kevin Chung vs. Zhong Qingya via TKO (knees) – Round 2, 3:37
Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie