AUNG La N Sang's name might not ring a bell to most mixed martial arts (MMA) fans around the world, but he is revered by over 53 million people as a hero in his motherland.
A national treasure like Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar, Aung La has the whole country’s attention each time he steps inside the ONE Championship cage.
Aung La’s superstar status has also been published in every mainstream newspaper in Myanmar, and he’s become a regular staple on each household’s television screen.
Good thing he compensates the support and attention of the entire Burmese nation with sweet victories, and Myanmar’s beloved son hopes to keep the country proud in the biggest fight of his nearly 12-year professional MMA career as he is set to challenge Vitaly Bigdash for the ONE Middleweight World Championship title at ONE: Quest for Power in Jakarta, Indonesia on January 14.
Capturing the ONE Middleweight World Championship belt will not only put Aung La in history books as the first Burmese MMA competitor to claim a world title, but he will also have an intricately-crafted hardware in his possession.
Beyond the prestige that marks the bearer as the best fighter in his weight class across the Asian region, the belt is designed as a symbolic ornament of honor and glory.
Weighing more than 7 kilograms, the jewel-encrusted silver and gold-plated belt is mounted by hand on a thick natural leather strap that is locked together securely with 10 steel studs.
The pair of warring lions that frame the centerpiece ONE Championship logo represents royalty and prestige, and it is complimented by a crown motif at the belt’s apex.
Two blood-red rubies are placed in the eyes of the lions, while two secondary plates added eminent value to the handmade masterpiece as it is studded with 52 crystals on each side.
“The ONE Championship belt is one of the most prestigious MMA titles in the sport today. Having that makes you the best in the game. That’s why I want to win it so bad,” Aung La said.
In gratitude to the nation’s steadfast support, Aung La is determined to bring home the ONE Middleweight World Championship to Myanmar.
“I would like to repay the unwavering support that they gave me all throughout the years by winning the ONE Middleweight World Championship belt. It’s my way of saying thank you to them,” Aung La stated.
Chinese zodiac refers to 2017 as ‘The Year of the Fire Rooster,’ but Aung La believes that it will be the year of ‘The Burmese Python.’
“2016 is a set up for 2017. After every fight, I am back in the gym trying to improve and get better. 2017 is going to be my year,” he ended.