Aung La N Sang is down to just one title in ONE Championship following Inside the Matrix on Friday. One of the promotion’s biggest homegrown stars, “The Burmese Python” saw his seven-fight win streak snapped when Reinier de Ridder caught him in a rear-naked choke. Just minutes into the opening round of their main event fight, the Sandford MMA athlete’s night was over.
It was quick, it was shocking. But Aung La was in good spirits following the loss, telling reporters in a virtual media session that “we’ll get it back.”
Yes, de Ridder was on him like a backpack. And yes, his squeeze was pretty tight. But not, as de Ridder claimed, “the best squeeze in the game.” Rather, said the now-former middleweight champ, “I’ve felt stronger squeezes. But it is what it is.”
Moving forward, the big question, of course, is about an immediate rematch. “It’s up to the boss,” N Sang said on that front. “If they want me to prove myself, I can do that. I don’t mind putting on more fights for the fans. An immediate rematch is fine too. But hat’s off to Reinier for that performance.”
If not an immediate rematch, then what about his light heavyweight title? That was last defended against Brandon Vera a year ago.
Moving back up to defend his other title seems to be on the back burner for now, said N Sang. Rather, he’ll “probably stay at middleweight for now, because I want to stay active. Hopefully I can turn it around before the end of the year.”
That seems to be key. Despite having mentioned retirement in the past, the 35-year old has no plans to retire just yet, saying his body still feels strong. Instead, he suggested a few other options for his immediate future.
“We could do a trilogy match against [Vitaly] Bigdash,” said N Sang. The pair have one win a piece in their career series. “We could do another bout. I don’t need an immediate rematch. I want to come back and put on another show before the end of the year.”
Watch the full ONE Championship: Inside the Matrix post-fight media session with Aung La N Sang above.