In 2017, Vietnamese-Australian MMA fighter Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 28, made history by winning two belts, the featherweight and lightweight world titles of ONE Championship. Behind this feat is his coach, Fari Salievski, 52.
On December 31, 2017, ONE Championship released a list of Asia’s top five coaches in martial arts. On top of the list is Salievski followed by Mark Sangiao, Don Carlo-Clauss, George Hickman and Ryo Chonan, who ranked second, third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
A martial arts instructor since 1982, Salievski is the head coach of KMA Champion Martial Arts Liverpool in New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He holds a Brazilian jujitsu black belt and seventh-degree black belts in hapkido and taekwondo.
In 1988, Salievski graduated from the University of Technology in Sydney with a degree in Marketing and Management. He heads Korea Hapkido Australia, Korea Hapkido International and an organization called Martial Arts Professionals.
Currently, Nguyen is Salievski’s top student. I asked the coach what makes the two-title champion different from his other students.
Salievski described Nguyen as an “extremely disciplined” student who listens and follows instructions. The coach added that the reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion and ONE Lightweight World Champion has “24/7 focus” and “amazing commitment to training and cardio.”
Nguyen is set to face reigning ONE Bantamweight World Champion Bibiano Fernandes on March 24, 2018 at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand. According to Salievski, the Vietnamese-Australian challenger is “almost on weight already.”
Since Nguyen’s professional MMA debut in 2012, he only lost one bout. It was against Marat Gafurov, who submitted him via rear-naked choke at “ONE: Odyssey of Champions” in 2015.
In 2017, Nguyen redeemed himself by snatching the ONE Featherweight World Champion belt from Gafurov in their rematch at “ONE: Quest for Greatness.” Almost three months later, Salievski’s protégé added ONE Lightweight World Champion to his list of titles by dethroning Eduard “Landslide” Folayang.
Currently, Nguyen’s professional MMA record is 10 wins and 1 loss. Have a quick look at his wife and kids here: