When ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion Aung La N Sang first met DEEP Openweight Champion Ken Hasegawa, the result was a 2018 Fight of the Year contender. The two fighters, contesting for the ONE middleweight strap, battled for four and half frenetic rounds until finally, Aung La put a decisive end to things with a ridiculous one-punch knockout in the fifth.
From the moment this unforgettable war ended, it was quite clear that we would eventually see a rematch. It was simply too good a fight not to run back.
We got that rematch at ONE: A New Era, the first ONE Championship event in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday.
This time around, Aung La N Sang once again came out on top — with improved time.
After dropping Ken Hasegawa in the first round, the champion poured on the offense in the second, brutalizing his foe’s left side with body kicks. While Hasegawa flaunted Zombie-esque toughness for a time, Aung La ultimately sealed the deal with a rocket-fuelled right hand, ending things before the frame ended.
Shortly after this impressive victory, Aung La N Sang was joined in the cage by ONE heavyweight champion Brandon Vera. The pair, with the blessing of ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, agreed to a showdown later this year.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/31/2019.