On Friday, July 30, 2021, the long-awaited return of ONE Championship goes down. The fighters will go to war in an event aptly named Battleground. This will be the first ONE Championship event since Full Blast 2, back on 11th June 2020.
It has been quite some time for all those ONE fans amongst us, but it was worth the wait as we’re treated to a stacked card by ONE Championship President Chatri Sityodtong, who continues to give us who we want to see. The main fight I’m going to focus on involves two warriors who lost to the same opponent; the Dutch Knight and ONE Championship two-weight Champion Reinier De Ridder.
Aung La N Sang vs. Leandro Ataides Breakdown and Predicition
The Burmese Python, Aung La N Sang (26-12), is riding a two-fight losing streak against De Ridder, which saw him lose both the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight Championships in a little over a twelve-month period, something the 36-year old Myanmar legend will be desperate to rectify.
It was the first time during his ONE Championship tenure that Aung La has suffered back-to-back defeats, something that wasn’t deemed possible by the fans, but this is the situation he finds himself in.
Coming into this fight, Aung La is looking in the best shape of his career. Training out of Sanford MMA, Aung La isn’t leaving anything to chance. Using his relentless work ethic to correct his recent wrongs, it wouldn’t be out of the question to compare Ataides fighting style to De Ridder. Both fighters are always looking for a submission and grind their opponents down with their devastating BJJ skills.
On the other hand, Ataides (11-4) hasn’t fought since February 2020, where he lost to De Ridder. One thing that these fighters have in common is they hold wins over Vitaly Bigdash. Ironically, Bigdash and Aung La were originally scheduled to face back in April. Unfortunately, the Russian was forced to withdraw on medical grounds, and the rest is history. Aung La accepted the short-notice replacement in De Ridder and was defeated.
One would assume that the winner of this fight will be looking at getting redemption against the double-weight Champion Reinier De Ridder.
Key to Victory
Let’s start with Leandro Ataides. The Brazilian has extremely high-level BJJ skills. He uses this as a smokescreen to his opponents, suckers them in, and usually ends the fights via strikes. Ataides has heavy hands and will be looking to use his BJJ to keep Aung La at a distance so he can strike.
On the other hand, Aung La has a hugely underrated BJJ game and will be more than willing to grapple. Aung La has the ability to use his python-like squeeze in the clinch, sapping the energy from his opponents, leaving them susceptible to his deadly striking, where he will happily beat his opponent down to get the finish.
Prediction – This fight will be a highly skilled bout, seeing both men look to use their skills to the fullest. Aung La will take advantage of his experience and win in the third-round via strikes.
You can catch the event live on the ONE Super App and the ONE Championship YouTube Channel.
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Featured Image Credits to ONE Championship PR