Japan’s Ken Hasegawa (16-3-1) has the most important match of his career this weekend. At ONE Championship: A New Era on March 30, not only will he be tangling with “The Burmese Python” Aung La Nsang (24-10) for the ONE Championship middleweight title, he will be fighting in his backyard. He looks to get the win in his home country, the championship, and avenge one of his few losses. Ken Hasegawa vs Aung La Nsang takes place in Tokyo at the famed Sumo Hall arena.
Hasegawa, who is training at Longo and Weidman MMA in New York, talked with MMASucka about the upcoming fight.
The 32-year-old Yokohama native is third degree judo black belt. He has notable wins over fighters such as Kazuhiro Nakamura and Ryuta Sakurai. He is also a former DEEP Megaton champion, which is the championship in their openweight division. Hasegawa also fought for RIZIN on their second show, RIZIN Fighting World Grand Prix 2015: Day 2 on New Year’s Eve.
The First Match
Hasegawa and La Nsang’s first match was a brawling classic. It was picked as MMASucka’s Match of the Month for June last year. Hasegawa took the fight on short notice, which he sees as a key factor in his loss.
The fight took place in La Nsang’s home country, Myanmar, at the Thuwunna Indoor Stadium. It featured an incredibly loud and pro La Nsang crowd that went wild with every punch he connected with. The fight lasted 5 rounds and looked like it was going to go the distance. Hasegawa, who was visibly exhausted and taking ungodly amounts of punishment, succumbed to the Burmese Python’s punches going down after a right uppercut. The entire fight can be seen here.
The Rest of the Card
This middleweight championship bout will join three other championship bouts. Filipino lightweight champion Eduard Folayang takes on the grappling mastermind Shinya Aoki. China’s Xiong Jingnan will defend her straweight championship against the undefeated Angela Lee. Former bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes looks to avenge his only loss in the last seven years when he rematches champion Kevin Belingon. Their first championship match was a controversial split decision loss for to then champion Fernandes. Former UFC flyweight Demetrious Johnson and lightweight Eddie Alvarez will also being debuting in their respective weight classes.
Where to Watch
You can watch the show for free and live on the ONE Championship App which can be downloaded for free in the Apple Store and Google Play Store. The show will start at 12:30 AM ET, Sunday March 31.