MMA, martial arts

Martin Nguyen wants ONE Championship in Vietnam

Martin Nguyen, Yuji Shimada

Martin Nguyen, Yuji Shimada

Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen is fighting out of Australia but he is strongly connected to his Vietnamese roots. ONE Championship has been planning a foray into the Southeast Asian country, and he could be at the forefront in bringing martial arts to that audience.

“I would love for ONE Championship to go to Vietnam, not only to motivate other Vietnamese athletes, but just the whole community,” Nguyen said. “For someone coming from a large organization like ONE Championship, I somehow feel I can already serve as motivation to the Vietnamese people over there.”

Nguyen will have both ONE featherweight and lightweight world champion titles if he defeats Eduard “Landslide” Folayang at “ONE: Legends of the World” on Nov. 10, Friday, in the Philippines. The Vietnamese-Australian fighter is also fully aware that another title win could do wonders for those who still live in Vietnam.

While Nguyen has been to his homeland only a few times in his life, he already feels a responsibility to the Vietnamese community, having been raised by one himself. He has a tough test in front of him at “ONE: Legends of the World” but he remains optimistic that a decisive outcome will be in his favor.

“This match is going to be stopped,” Nguyen guaranteed. “I would love for it to be a KO, but I see it as a submission or a TKO for Martin ‘The Situ-Asian’ Nguyen, of course.”

Within a span of nearly four months, Nguyen has gone from title contender to potential two-division world champion. All of that is a definitive testament to his hard work and dedication, and it is something he hopes that will be able to positively impact others.

“I want to inspire people,” Nguyen said. “I want them to see the hard work I go through, and if I do end up winning this belt, it all starts from hard work and dedication. If you really want something in life, you have to work hard for it. You have to put your head down, set your goals and meet them, and that is what I want to push to the new generation.”

On Aug. 18, Marat Gafurov lost his ONE featherweight world champion title to Nguyen at “ONE Championship: Quest for Greatness.” The latter finds this “so surreal.”

“Last year, I set my goals,” Nguyen said. “I said to myself, ‘This year, I want to rematch Marat [Gafurov], take the belt off of him, and become a two-division champion.’ I am 75 percent of the way there. I beat Marat, and I got the featherweight belt.”

“Now I am in a super bout for the first time ever in ONE Championship history to become a two-division champion,” Nguyen continued. “Everything is falling into place. It is appealing to know all hard work pays off.”

Here is an interview with Nguyen:

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