Former two-division ONE champion Aung La N Sang blasted his way back into the win column with an emphatic finish of fellow MMA veteran Yushin Okami at ONE 163 in Singapore, then dedicated his win to the memory of his teammate Anthony “Rumble” Johnson, who passed away earlier in the week.
N Sang, who suffered back-to-back losses to Reinier de Ridder as he lost both his titles to the “Dutch Knight” in 2020 and 2021, bounced back with a first-round finish of Leandro Ataides, but then ended up on the wrong end of a decision against old adversary and former middleweight champ, Vitaly Bigdash, in February.
It meant that N Sang was looking to claim only his second victory since 2019 when he stepped into the ONE circle against Japanese stalwart Okami, who was competing in the 52nd fight of his career and looking for back-to-back wins under the ONE banner.
Perhaps wary of “The Burmese Python’s” heavy hands, Okami shot for a takedown early in proceedings but was denied by some smart takedown defense from N Sang.
Okami tried again, but ate a big knee from N Sang and was dropped to the canvas.
With his opponent scrambled and in big trouble, N Sang then moved in and unloaded a salvo of ground strikes to force the stoppage at the 1:42 mark.
N Sang’s victory gave him the 28th victory of his career and put him back on track after a patchy run of form. The former middleweight and light heavyweight champion will now look to start stacking wins as he looks for a big year, and a return to the top, in 2023.
ONE 163: Official Results
- Petchtanong Petchfergus def. Hiroki Akimoto via split decision – for bantamweight kickboxing title
- Roman Kryklia def. Iraj Azizpour via TKO (knee and punches) – Round 2, 1:28 – heavyweight kickboxing grand prix final
- Saygid Izagakhmaev def. Shinya Aoki via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 1, 1:26
- Aung La N Sang def. Yushin Okami via TKO (knee and ground strikes) – Round 1, 1:42
- Woo Sung Hoon def. Yuya Wakamatsu via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 1, 2:46
- Kwon Won Il def. Mark Abelardo via TKO (knee and punches) – Round 3, 3:45
- Ahmed Krnjic def. Bruno Chaves via unanimous decision – kickboxing bout
- Ahmed Mujtaba def. Abraao Amorim via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 4:32
- Asahi Shinagawa def. Rui Botelho via split decision – Muay Thai bout
- Bianca Basilio def. Milena Kaori via submission (rear-naked choke) – 0:42 – submission grappling bout
- Kiril Gorobets def. Bruno Pucci via unanimous decision