30 Mar, 2020

Aung La N Sang vs. Jon Jones? Fantasy matchmaking with ONE Championship's Michael Schiavello

With no fights set to take place for the foreseeable future due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, much of the MMA world has been left pondering which big fights they’d love to see when the world gets back to normality again.

One man who has a wish list packed with blockbuster super fights is ONE Championship commentator Michael Schiavello, who chatted with MMA Junkie to offer his suggestions for some of the biggest post-coronavirus matchups he’d love to see under the ONE Championship banner later this year, as well as a pair of dynamite cross-promotion fantasy fights involving ONE Championship and UFC stars.

Aung La N Sang vs. Jon Jones

Schiavello:Aung La N Sang vs Jon Jones is such a battle of styles and a battle of range.

“How does Aung La handle someone with the range of Jon Jones? He got past the range of Vera pretty easily, but Jones uses his range on a whole other level. And how does Jones react when he hits Aung La with these long-reaching high knees and hands and legs, and Aung La walks through them, gets in his face and lands that steel pipe to his jaw, and touches him up?

“That would be magnificent. But it also depends a lot on where you’re going to hold this match. If you hold it in the U.S., in Jones’ backyard, an obvious advantage swings to him. But if you hold this in Yangon, in Myanmar, in a soccer stadium with 50,000 people in there, I’m telling you, a big advantage swings back to Aung La. That crowd alone is like nothing you’ve ever seen in your life.

“I’ve commentated the biggest combat events. I’ve done the Olympics, I’ve done K-1, I’ve done DREAM, I’ve done Dynamite, I’ve done 80,000 people in the Tokyo Dome – I’ve done them all. But I’ve never heard anything like 10,000 inside Thuwunna Indoor Stadium when Aung La is fighting. To say you can’t hear yourself think is true. I can’t hear myself commentate these fights, even though I’ve got my headphones cranked up to 10 out of 10 on my levels. I can’t hear myself. It’s nuts.

“For anyone to come into that atmosphere – for Jon Jones to step into Myanmar and compete in that atmosphere – it’s so overwhelming. People might read this and go, ‘Come on, Schiavello! Jon Jones will obliterate Aung La.’ People are thinking you can’t compare Aung La to Jon Jones, but no, man. If you’re going to compare, you have to compare in all the aspects, and one big aspect is Aung La in Myanmar is untouchable, unbeatable. What would happen if Jones stepped into Aung La’s backyard and did it there? There’s so many factors, and that’s what makes it a fantastic match.”

Zhang Weili vs. Xiong Jing Nan

Schiavello: “From a population viewpoint, clarifying they’re Zhang Weili and Xiong Jing Nan – imagine the eyes on that, just from China alone.

“You put Xiong Jing Nan against Zhang. Who’s the better? Who’s the real superpower between those two? Two ferocious athletes who have completely different styles. That would be magnificent. That would be a great fantasy double-header right there.”

Next up: A huge fight for the biggest title in ONE Championship

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