Aung La N Sang faceplants Ken Hasegawa, retains MW crown in raucous homecoming at ONE Championship: Spirit Of A Warrior

ONE Championship Middleweight belt holder Aung La N Sang did his damnedest to ensure his latest homecoming was worth the price of admission on Friday.

With thousands of Burmese cheering him on, the fighting pride of Myanmar capped a spirited scrap opposite a game Ken Hasegawa with a fifth-round knockout to retain the ONE middleweight crown in the main of event of the promotion’s most recent trip to Yangon. He and the challenger went blow for blow through the first half of the rollicking contest, but the defending king rode both crafty grappling and superior conditioning to his first successful defense of the strap he’d claimed a year ago.

N Sang – who also sits atop ONE’s light heavyweight totem pole – wasted little time finding a home for his right hand and body kicks in Round 1, while Hasegawa uncorked haymakers in rebuttal. The two-division champ’s methodical attack put him ahead on the scorecards heading into the second, but the challenger soon made it a nailbiter, landing the straight left behind the jab with regularity and timing N Sang’s entries with the right hook on more than one occasion. The Japanese product’s exploits in Round 2 appeared to have done a number on his gas tank, however, as fatigue sunk its treacherous hooks in and left him no choice but to enter rock’em sock’em mode with the champ in an equally sloppy and enthralling third stanza, with fighters were plainly wearing the gaudy fruits of their scrap at its conclusion:

Fittingly enough, the championship rounds belonged to the titleholder, with N Sang slinging leather when he wasn’t tripping his exhausted, albeit resilient foe to the mat. After regaling his countrymen with spinning techniques and Superman punches to open Round 5, N Sang sent Hasegawa stumbling with some short, dirty uppercuts before finally faceplanting him with a right hand to seal the victory at the 3:13 mark.

In addition to spoiling Hasegawa’s promotional debut, the stoppage extending N Sang’s win streak to four.

Leandro Issa didn’t need nearly as much time to get his hand raised in the bantamweight co-headliner, recovering from a knockdown off Roman Alvarez’s granite left mitt to score a takedown, slice through the Guam native’s guard and slap on an arm-triangle choke for the tapout in all of 86 seconds. “Brodinho” has now won three straight under the ONE banner since parting ways with the UFC on a two-fight skid in late 2016.

See the full results from Friday’s action below:

ONE Championship: Spirit Of A Warrior

Middleweight Championship Bout: Aung La N Sang (23-10) def. Ken Hasegawa (16-3-1) via KO at 3:13 of Round 5
Bantamweight Bout: Leandro Isaa (16-6) def. Roman Alvarez (8-2) via submission (arm-triangle choke) at 1:26 of Round 1
Featherweight Bout: Sagetdao Petpayathai (4-0) def. Jia Wen Ma (5-3) via unanimous decision
Featherweight Bout: Tetsuya Yamada (26-6) def. Rafael Nunes (11-2) via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) at 4:05 of Round 2
Bantamweight Bout: Lei Chen (5-0) def. Ahmad Qais Jasoor (4-1) via TKO at 1:27 of Round 3
Strawweight Bout: Kritsada Kongsrichai (7-4) def. Jeremy Miado (7-3) via unanimous decision
Featherweight Bout: Mite Yine (1-0) def. Saw Darwait (1-1) via TKO at 2:48 of Round 1


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