The MMA Vanguard is delighted to bring you LIVE round by round coverage of ONE: Light of a Nation from the Thuwunna Indoor Arena in Yangon, Myanmar!
We start with 24 year old ONE debutant Kevin ‘Old Boy’ Chung against 26 year old pro debutant Zhong Qing Ya of China. Chung is billed as from South Korea, but will be fighting out of Centreville, Virginia in the USA. Mitch Chilson gives the grappling advantage to Chung.
Bantamweight Fight: Kevin Chung (4-0) vs Zhong Qing Ya (0-0)
Round One: They touch. Qing Ya paws out a few punches to establish distance. Chung comes forward, Qing Ya responds, but neither connect. Leg kick by Chung. Qing Ya strides forward and almost eats a left hook. Chung misses a fierce body kick, Qing Ya engages, but Chung easily outwrestles him, moving him to the fence. Chung looking for a takedown, but Qing Ya manages to defend. Good takedown defence from Qing Ya, who lands an elbow on the way out. Qing Ya looks loose on his feet now. Body kick from Chung misses, then a second lands. Right hand from Chung lands, and Qing Ya fires back with a body kick. Spinning back kick from Chung lands, but more towards the shoulder than the midsection. Right hand from Qing Ya, Chung drops for a takedown, but excellent defence from Qing Ya. Chung has Qing Ya pressed to the fence. 90 seconds to go. Chung trying to head fight, and lands a knee to the body as he pulls out. Chung misses a right. 45 seconds. Leg kick from Qing Ya, Chung replies. Hard leg kick from Qing Ya, and another, Chung shoots, but Qing Ya really does have superb takedown defence, and leaves Chung on his back. Up kick-push style sends Qing Ya sprawling, and Chung is up. Ten seconds. Big overhand from Chung! The most telling shot of the round, and Qing Ya with a leg kick. Close round.
Approximate Scorecard: Kevin Chung 10-9
Round Two: Qing Ya with a leg kick, Chung fires back with a body kick, and Qing Ya replies in kind. Side kick from Chung creates distance. Chung misses an overhand. Hard leg kick from Qing Ya, and another, Chung says it hit low, referee Yuji Shimada says it hit the inside of the thigh, and we’re underway. Chung with a takedown, finally completes it! Qing Ya briefly toys with a triangle, can’t get it, and Chung drops some big elbows and some knees to the upper thigh/tailbone area. Chung pops up, passes to side control! Chung with a half-crucifix-type position, some elbows, Qing Ya gives up his back! A big knee to the head is legal in ONE, some punches and Qing Ya is turtling up! He’s done! Good performance from Kevin Chung, as soon as this went to the ground, it was all over.
Result: Kevin Chung by TKO (strikes) @ 3:37 of Round Two
Next up, Htet Aung Oo is a Lethwei fighter and holds a gold belt in his chosen discipline. He does, however, make his debut against a 3-0 fighter in this all-Myanmar fight! Tha Pyay Nyo has been here before three times, winning by TKO each time. He is, we are informed, one of the most successful Lethwei fighters of all time.
Bantamweight Fight: Tha Pyay Nyo (3-0) vs Htet Aung Oo (0-0)
Round One: Olivier Coste is the referee this time. He informs both fighters headbutts are illegal, because of course they are perfectly legal in Lethwei! They touch. Leg kick by Tha, body kick retort from Htet. HUGE RIGHT HAND FROM THA PYAY NYO! Instant knock out! Wow!!
Result: Tha Pyay Nyo by Knock Out (Punch) @ 0:16 of Round One
Jimmy Yabo is a Filipino striker with a one hundred percent TKO finish rate, and he faces a two-time No-Gi BJJ World Champion in Brazilian Bruno Pucci – they’re billing this as a clash of styles, and with good reason! This could well be a classic striker vs grappler affair.
Featherweight Fight: Jimmy Yabo (5-4) vs Bruno Pucci (4-2)
Round One: They touch. Pucci takes the centre of the cage, shoots in from a fair distance, but is still able to push Yabo to the fence and take him down. This is bad for Yabo. Big punches from Pucci from range, and he’s at home here. He passes seamlessly to side control, lands some short punches, and easily progresses to mount. Pucci postures up, dropping some big punches here! Yabo covering up, BIG elbows from Pucci, Yabo simply covering up, doing nothing more, and that’s it! Comfortable win for Bruno Pucci!
Result: Bruno Pucci by TKO (punches) @ 2:12 of Round One
Mei Yamaguchi is a shoot fight and MMA veteran of ten years, fighting for everyone from DEEP to Pancrase to Pacific Xtreme Combat. Yamaguchi fought for the ONE Atomweight title in a losing decision to Angela Lee. She has never been finished either in MMA or shoot fighting. Her opponent, Jenny Huang, hails from Chinese Taipei, was also repelled by Angela Lee, and has three submission wins to her credit. She is eight years the junior of Yamaguchi, but has fought five times in the ONE circled cage. This will be a stiff test for the 26 year old Judo black belt.
Atomweight Fight: Jenny Huang (5-1) vs Mei Yamaguchi (15-10-1)
Round One: They touch. Leg kick from Yamaguchi, Huang responds, not much on them. Harder leg kick from Huang. Spinning back kick from Huang misses the mark. Yamaguchi launches forward with a right, but misses. One-two misses from Huang. Leg kick from Huang misses. Overhand right misses from Yamaguchi. The pair miss high kicks. Yamaguchi presses forward, misses her punches, settles for a clinch, but it quickly dissipates. Body kick from Yamaguchi lands as Huang seems to slip. Yamaguchi catches a body kick from Huang, clinches briefly, and punishes Huang with a punch on the break. Good short right from Huang, Yamaguchi also landed, and Mei pushes Huang to the fence. Yamaguchi looks to pick a leg, but Huang with excellent defence and avoids the takedown. Yamaguchi keeps struggling and is eventually rewarded with the takedown with 80 seconds to go. Mei landing punches from the top, Huang defending reasonably well, but Yamaguchi still sneaking punches through. Huang clearly has weapons from the back, but Yamaguchi too experienced to become ensnared in anything serious. Yamaguchi with a few more punches, and that’s time on the round.
Approximate Scorecard: Mei Yamaguchi 10-9
Round Two: Spinning back kick from Huang off a feigned roundhouse, flashy but not particularly effective. Leg kick from Yamaguchi, and a takedown after just 50 seconds. Huang briefly threatened a guillotine, but nothing Yamaguchi doesn’t deal with easily. Mei in full guard, landing punches, steps up, and tries to sneak to side control but cannot. Back in full guard, the crowd begin chanting ‘Mei’. Huang with an upkick attempt as Mei stands back up out of guard, and Mei finally sneaks to half guard. Three shoulder slams from Yamaguchi, Huang eating body shots, and Yamaguchi passes to mount, only for Huang to adjust to half guard. Yamaguchi back to full guard, stands out again, but cannot pass this time. Huang with good positional defence, but not really threatening anything here. It’s all Yamaguchi. Yamaguchi passes to full mount, and this time it looks good. 90 seconds to work. Huang gives her back, Yamaguchi fishing for a rear naked choke, it’s TIGHT, and Huang taps! Mei Yamaguchi redeems herself in the ONE circled cage!
Result: Mei Yamaguchi by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) @ 4:00 of Round Two
18 year old Saw Min Min won his semi-final in the Myanmar flyweight tournament with a first round TKO on the preliminary card, and took almost no damage. His opponent, 19 year old Shwe Kyaung Thar, was actually an alternate leading into the night. Now he fights in the tournament final against his teammate.
Flyweight Tournament Final: Saw Min Min (1-0) vs Shwe Kyaung Thar (0-0)
Round One: They touch. Leg kick by Thar, Min Min checks it well, and they trade a few missed punches. These guys are quick. Thar catches a kick from Min Min and takes him down, but his control is lacking and Min Min reverses position with a headlock sweep! Min Min takes the back of Thar, looking for a rear naked choke, but he’s Thar is up and Min Min can’t complete it from the side. Thar takes Min Min down again after a brief moment on the feet, but Min Min has a one arm guillotine – it doesn’t look like he has full leverage, but he sneaks his other arm in, locks it on properly, and Thar has no answer – Thar taps!
Result: Saw Min Min by Submission (Guillotine) @ 1:43 of Round One
It is time for the main event of the evening, and here comes the challenger, Myanmar’s own Aung La Nsang! The crowd are stoked for this one, Aung La Nsang is a huge favourite as one would expect. Nsang saw a four-fight win streak snapped by Bigdash last time out, with Nsang taking that fight at short notice. He has no such concerns this time in the immediate rematch. Bigdash, meanwhile, is a perfect 9-0 and won the title in his ONE debut against Igor Svirid. His first defence was the win over Nsang. That fight also represented the first time Bigdash has failed to finish.
ONE Championship Middleweight Title Fight: Vitaly Bigdash (c) (9-0) vs Aung La Nsang (19-10)
Round One: They touch. One-two from Bigdash finds gloves as he looks to calculate the distance. Leg kick from Bigdash. Aung with an overhand, and Bigdash responds with a right to the temple! Body kick from Aung, and a flashy roundhouse from Bigdash misses. They engage, left lands from Aung. Body kick from Bigdash. Aung with a right and left uppercut on Bigdash. Body kick from Aung. Aung throws a right, and Bigdash tries to snipe with a counter combination. Body punch from Aung. Aung rocks Bigdash! Huge left! Bigdash is down, and Aung swarms! Bigdash recovers, but Aung all over him! Big rights and lefts from Aung! Bigdash covers up, he’s in trouble, but Bigdash manages to pull him in momentarily! Elbow from Aung! Bigdash looks like he’s weathered the storm! He ate a lot of shots, but stayed composed! Great start from Aung, and a HUGE elbow from the Maryland-based Myanmar fighter! Bigdash looks to work a triangle, gets nowhere near, and Aung stands out of full guard. Shimada stands them up, and Bigdash takes his time getting up! Big right hand from Bigdash. Aung lands a right, Bigdash retreats. Aung with some good uppercuts from his dirty boxing. 40 seconds to go. Elbow from Aung, Bigdash looking to endure, he’s firing back, but this round has been all Aung La Nsang. Wow!
Approximate Scorecard: Aung La Nsang 10-8
Round Two: Bigdash drops, gets a body lock, takes the back of Aung, and briefly threatens a rear naked choke – The Burmese Python slips out, winds up on top, lands a few punches, but the champion powers his way to the feet. Bigdash presses Aung to the cage, but Shimada steps in to separate them. Back under way, Aung looks extremely confident. Bigdash still looks weak. Aung picking his shots, Bigdash swinging hard. Aung with a body kick. Bigdash with another takedown attempt, and again takes the back on the feet. Bigdash just muscles Aung to the floor, and he’s got both hooks in! Aung suddenly in trouble, Bigdash sneaks a few punches in, he’s on the side of Aung somewhere between back control and full mount. Bigdash looks a heavy unit from top position, sitting on Aung. Aung gets his back to the cage, and Shimada stands them up with Aung looking comfortable. That was a bit quick for me. 75 seconds left. Left jab lands from Bigdash. Aung lands a right hand, but Bigdash is coming at him now. Two rights over the top from Bigdash. Head kick misses from Bigdash. Aung with an uppercut as Bigdash pushes the Myanmar fighter against the cage. 30 seconds. Bigdash is happy to ride out the round in the clinch.
Approximate Scorecard: Bigdash 10-9
Round Three: Bigdash finding his rhythm now, lands a right and a knee to the head. One-two from Aung, and he narrowly misses a head kick. Bigdash shoots in, and completes the takedown! Aung gets his back to the fence again, and Bigdash will have to do something to appease eager referee Yuji Shimada. Bigdash drags Aung away from the cage and into half guard. Aung trying to strike from the bottom, and he adjusts to get his back against the cage again. Aung tries the sweep, ALMOST gets it, but Bigdash retains top control nicely. Body punches from Bigdash, as he puts his weight on Aung to pin him down. The referee with the stand up again, and the Russian slowly back to his feet. No complaints with the decision, though. Aung La Nsang with a left hand and an uppercut, but Bigdash completes another takedown. He’s scoring these readily now. 1:40 to go. Aung forces his way to the feet, he’s useful with his back to the cage, but a belly to belly suplex from Bigdash grounds Aung in the centre of the cage! Bigdash in half guard, Aung tying Bigdash up nicely. Aung is bleeding. True to form, Shimada warns of another stand up, but with ten seconds to go this looks like where we’re staying.
Approximate Scorecard: Bigdash 10-9
Round Four: They touch. Body kick from Aung. Right misses from Bigdash, head kick from Aung blocked. Spinning back kick from Aung. Leg kick from Bigdash, and Aung hurts Bigdash with a combination. Leg kick from Bigdash. Body kick from Bigdash. Three minutes to go. Body punch from Aung, and an uppercut appears to affect Bigdash’s eye – it’s not an eye poke apparently, as they continue. Aung could have followed up perhaps. Right hand from Aung. Shimada warns Bigdash for retreating. One-two from Bigdash, and Aung narrowly misses some counter strikes. Body punch from Aung. One minute to go. Body punch from Aung, Bigdash tries a big counter. Right hand from Bigdash. High kick from Vitaly. Bigdash shoots for a takedown, but Aung easily thwarts it. Side kick from Bigdash.
Approximate Scorecard: Aung La Nsang 10-9
Round Five: Final round! Aung jabs at Bigdash, but nothing landing. Bigdash finally throws a strike after about 40 seconds. Leg kick from Bigdash. Aung with a jab. Right hand from Bigdash. Leg kick from Aung. Double jab from Bigdash. One two from Bigdash, Aung counters with an uppercut and eats a right in the process. Bigdash tries a takedown but it’s half-hearted and easily defended. Leg kick from Bigdash. Head kick from Aung blocked by the Russian. Three minutes to go. Body kick from Bigdash. One-two lands from Aung. Spinning back kick from Bigdash, and a takedown! That threw Aung off his rhythm. Aung again gets his back to the cage, good strategy. Aung gets to his feet, and they separate. Leg kick from Bigdash. Takedown from Bigdash – that could have been better defended perhaps. They’re in the centre of the cage, and Bigdash finally looking active from the top. Elbows from Bigdash. Heavy top game now from Bigdash, Aung is going nowhere here as Bigdash stays active. Elbow from Bigdash. Aung squirming, trying to get closer to the cage. Ten seconds. Punches from Bigdash. It’s over!
Approximate Scorecard: Bigdash 10-9
Predicted Outcome: Aung La Nsang
Result: New ONE Championship Middleweight World Champion Aung La Nsang by Decision
Mitch Chilson is with the new champion Aung La Nsang – he says he cannot do this without God, his teammates, or his supporters in Myanmar. He says he’s not good, he’s not talented, he’s not fast, but with the fans he has what he needs to become a world champion. Chilson calls Aung La Nsang the ‘people’s champion’ who has now graduated to ONE Middleweight Champion. Aung asks how that sounds to Myanmar; they like it. Aung promises to never quit, never give up, and to keep fighting.