How did you get the name of Burmese Python?
When I started in mixed martial arts in the US in 2006, I was asked from which country I came. When I replied Myanmar, no one knew it. So, I had to explain. On their side, they keep Burmese pythons as pets and they realised where I was from. From that day on, they called me Burmese Python.
As a fighter, what are your likes and dislikes in MMA?
Sometimes I get in low spirits. But I also get in high spirits when I win my matches. This is a tough kind of job if we don’t know how to manage the spirits. We might do something bad if we are either too high or too low. We have to control these things. I don’t like it. What I like is when I’m happy exercising every day. It is my favourite part of the job.
What is difference between a fighter’s emotions inside and outside the cage?
I have a lot of feelings in the cage. I am very active once inside. Some people are scared. As for me, I have to control my mind breathing and try to remain calm. Outside the cage, I feel scared when my friends are going through their fights. I worry for them a lot.
We hear you are about to become a father for the second time, what will you name your next child?
I am going to have my second baby in January. It’s girl. Her name will be Sam Sun. My wife and I agreed to name her Sam Sun Grace N Sang.
How was the surgery on your hand after your fight against Brandon Vera?
My right thumb bone was displaced. It happened during the last strike in the fight. My thumb hurt when I took off the gloves. My doctor said I needed two pins, so an operation was done in the US for that. I will be able to train again in about a month.
You said that you would retire after two years. Can you tell us more about that plan?
Right now, I am still healthy and can still fight well. So, I will try my best and work to be the best in the middle weight class. After that, I have plans to share my knowledge and experience. I have plans to settle down back in Myanmar with my family.
When is your next match?
I will start training again once the bandage is taken off my hand. Then, I’ll try to set the date for the next match as soon as possible. It could be as early as March of 2020.
What else do you want to say to the young MMA and Lethwei fighters?
What I’d like to say is that, if we think of it as a running race, it’s not a sprint, but a marathon. We need to invest a lot of time in it. One or two years is not enough. As for me, I had to fight for nearly 10 years. Only then did I become one of the best fighters, I think. I had to sacrifice nearly 16 years to reach this level today.
The thing is, invest your time in it. Train yourself. Do not expect success in a short time.
What do you want to say to your fans?
I’d like to say many thanks to all my fans. I never thought I’d get that much support. I’ll try as best as I can for their support, and I’ll try to be the one they can be proud of.