The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

WHEN Aung La Nsang (18-9-0) en­ters the cage for his sec­ond-ever fight in Myan­mar, his home coun­try, there will be a 6-foot-2-inch, an­gry Pol­ish man wait­ing on the other side.

Meet Poland’s Michal Paster­nak – the tough­est fighter Aung La Nsang has faced to date.

‘It gives me ex­tra fuel. I think that af­ter the fight, most of his fans will be my fans as well.’

Michal Paster­nak

MMA fighter

The two will meet in Thuwunna In­door Sta­dium on Oc­to­ber 7 dur­ing ONE Cham­pi­onship’s State of War­riors event. The fight of­fers a shot at re­demp­tion for Paster­nak (11-1-0), who lost his most re­cent bout to Brazil­ian jiu jitsu leg­end Roger Gra­cie in the in­au­gu­ral ONE Light Heavy­weight World Cham­pi­onship.

In a re­cent in­ter­view with Asiaone, the Pol­ish fighter ad­dressed the set­back.

“The op­po­nent took ad­van­tage of my mis­take in my last fight,” he said. “My coach is work­ing with me to avoid that in the fu­ture. I need to use my best weapons, not ad­just to his game. But it was a one-time flop against Roger Gra­cie.”

His record at­tests to the ex­cuse, as Paster­nak had never lost lead­ing up to the Gra­cie match. Train­ing with the Oknin­ski MMA group in his home­town of Pinc­zow, the Pol­ish pu­n­isher has spent most of his ca­reer fight­ing in and around Poland. The Oc­to­ber 7 event will mark his first visit to Myan­mar and just his third fight in Asia.

Hav­ing fought in both heavy­weight and light heavy­weight weight classes, he will make also be mak­ing his de­but at mid­dleweight (84 kilo­grams) against Aung La Nsang. Fight­ing “down” a weight class may af­ford Paster­nak more quick­ness in the cage, though his hall­mark has been stamina through three rounds: Of his 11 wins, five – or nearly half – have come via de­ci­sion.

One such win, against Rafael Silva in Paster­nak’s ONE de­but, came af­ter Paster­nak suf­fered a se­ri­ous knee in­jury early in the third round. The Pole showed tough­ness, grind­ing out a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion vic­tory de­spite the dam­aged joint by tak­ing Silva to ground and pound­ing him down as time ex­pired. But the wound took its toll, and Paster­nak would sit out for more than a year as his leg re­cov­ered.

This char­ac­ter­is­tic tough­ness and propen­sity to go the dis­tance could spell trou­ble for Aung La Nsang: The Crazy88 fighter has lost all three of his fights that lasted three rounds and has never won a fight by de­ci­sion. Though this could be a fac­tor more re­lated to his abil­ity to dispatch op­po­nents be­fore the fi­nal bell than his in­abil­ity to out­last a chal­lenger, it nonethe­less high­lights an in­trigu­ing as­pect of their up­com­ing match that could tell the difference in who emerges vic­to­ri­ous.

Aung La Nsang, how­ever, will have a ra­bid crowd cheer­ing him on, and car­ries an un­beaten ONE Cham­pi­onship record.

“He is the host, so I think that he has a lot of fans there,” Paster­nak told Asiaone. “But in fact, for me, it is more pos­i­tive than neg­a­tive. It gives me ex­tra fuel. I think that af­ter the fight, most of his fans will be my fans as well.” – Staff

Sports Min­is­ter Dr Myint Ht­way said the min­istry would en­sure that the ground was open to lo­cal peo­ple once it had taken over. But the town elders did not ac­cept the min­is­ter’s re­ply. “We de­cided to re­ject it to­tally,” said U Kyaw Min Han.

“We will fight for get­ting back the sta­dium.”

An­other com­mit­tee mem­ber, U Ohn Lwin, said the elders would hold a press con­fer­ence when they had heard back from an army ma­jor who had helped build the sta­dium in 1973.

“Ma­jor San Win, who led the ef­fort to build the sta­dium, lives in Loikaw. We have asked him to make an au­dio file to prove that the sta­dium was pub­licly owned,” he said, adding that the orig­i­nal owner of the ground was not the min­istry, but the com­mu­nity. Ac­cord­ing to the elders, the min­istry has no busi­ness run­ning their sta­dium.

The sports min­is­ter told the hlut­taw that the sta­dium had been ren­o­vated af­ter it was rented out to Nay Pyi Taw FC, but the team had agreed to give up the lease and hand it over to the gov­ern­ment. – Trans­la­tion by Win Thaw Tar and San Layy

Pho­tos: Sup­plied

Michal Paster­nak is set to face off against Myan­mar’s Aung La Nsang on Oc­to­ber 7 in the ONE Cham­pi­onship State of War­riors event at Thuwunna In­door Sta­dium.

The Pol­ish fighter has a record of out­last­ing his op­po­nents, with nearly half of his wins com­ing by de­ci­sion af­ter a full three rounds.

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