Aung La N Sang says ONE Championship coming to US at ‘perfect time’ – especially after ‘joke’ Power Slap
- ONE will promote first event on US soil on May 5 in Colorado, and N Sang is among the stars set to compete on the card
- Burmese-American vows to ‘put on an awesome show’ for American fans – some of whom were turned off by Dana White’s controversial Power Slap league
Aung La N Sang believes ONE Championship stands to benefit from the abject failure of Power Slap, the controversial new project from UFC president Dana White.
Power Slap, which sees competitors take turns open-hand striking each other in the face at close range with concussive consequences, debuted on American television network TBS on January 18, and concluded with a live finale on the alternative social media network Rumble this past weekend.
The series performed very poorly on television, with its final episode – which should have been its greatest success – recording the worst viewership rating of all eight.
Power Slap will not get a second season on TBS after its weak performance.
There is no questioning that it is unpopular among fight fans, and that is sullied the reputations of both White and the UFC, whose broadcasts and social media channels have heavily promoted the needlessly dangerous sport since January.
N Sang believes that is good news for Singapore-based martial arts promotion ONE – one of the UFC’s biggest competitors – which is set to debut on US soil with an event in Broomfield, Colorado, on May 5.
“It’s perfect timing, especially with UFC and the crazy Power Slap thing – which is a joke,” N Sang, 37, told the Post.
“It’s the perfect time and the perfect storm for ONE Championship.”
ONE promotes four distinct combat sports: MMA, kickboxing, submission grappling, and as N Sang puts it, “the highest level of Muay Thai in four-ounce gloves.”
The Burmese-American (29-13) is a former two-division MMA champion in the promotion, and is set to fight China’s Fan Rong at middleweight on the main card of the promotion’s US debut.
He intends to entertain the fans watching live in Denver, and those watching on Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service across the US – many of whom will be eager for legitimate combat sports competition after being inundated with Power Slap content.
“I’m going to put on an awesome show,” he said. “I can’t wait to show the American fans what I’m capable of.”
N Sang was born in Myanmar, and has become the Southeast Asian country’s greatest sporting hero. However, he has called the United States home since 2003, first taking up residence in Michigan, and later in Florida, where he now lives with his wife and children.
He has spent the last decade of his MMA career competing across Asia in ONE – fighting in countries like Myanmar, Singapore, Japan, and China.
He has enjoyed his time competing in Asia, but admits there are many logistical benefits to fighting closer to home.
“I can bring more training partners [to Denver],” he said. “I can make preparations easier for the fight towards the end. I have a lot of things in my control versus, let’s say, in Singapore.
“The worst example would be Hefei in China,” he added, referencing his 2016 fight with Aleksei Butorin. “I couldn’t speak their language. I had a hard time getting the right food. For this fight, it’s going to be much easier.”
N Sang will also be able to bring his family to his fight, which is not as easy when he has to fly across the Pacific Ocean.
“My whole family will be there,” he said with a smile.
N Sang will enter his fight against Fan with first-round stoppage wins over Gilberto Galvao and Yushin Okami in the rear-view mirror. Those victories separated him from a decision loss to long time Russian rival Vitaly Bigdash.
ONE’s US debut – titled ONE Fight Night 10 – will be topped by a flyweight MMA title fight, as champion Demetrious Johnson attempts to defend his belt against Adriano Moraes. It will be the pair’s third meeting, after scoring a knockout win apiece in their first two fights.
In the co-main event, flyweight Muay Thai champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon will attempt to defend his title against debuting Mexican challenger Edgar Tabares.
Flyweight submission grappling champion Mikey Musumeci will also defend his belt at the event, taking on debuting Yemeni black belt Osamah Almarwai.
The card will also feature appearances from MMA stars Stamp Fairtex, Roberto Soldic, and Sage Northcutt, who will meet Alyse Anderson, Zebaztian Kadestam and Ahmed Mujtaba respectively.