“ONE: Reign of Kings” marks the third time Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen of Vietnam and Australia is competing against a Team Lakay fighter. The Vietnamese-Australian mixed martial arts superstar will compete for the ONE Interim Bantamweight World Champion against Kevin “The Silencer” Belingon at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines on July 27, 2018.
The last time Nguyen competed at the SM Mall of Asia Arena was on November 10, 2017 at “ONE: Legends of the World.” He dethroned then reigning ONE Lightweight World Champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, who is Belingon’s Team Lakay teammate.
Before facing Folayang, Nguyen defeated one Team Lakay fighter. On November 13, 2015, Nguyen knocked out Edward “The Ferocious” Kelly at “ONE: Pride of Lions” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.
Nguyen and Folayang met again on July 24, 2018 at the City of Dreams Manila in Paranaque City, Metro Manila for the “ONE: Reign of Kings” press conference. Both are on the card but in separate bouts. While Nguyen is set to face Belingon, Folayang will compete against Aziz Pahrudinov, an undefeated ONE Championship debutante from Dagestan, Russia.
During the press conference, Folayang acknowledged that Nguyen was the better fighter at “ONE: Legends of the World.” The Team Lakay fighter added that the Vietnamese-Australian fighter, who is the reigning ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion, deserves the belt.
While everything seems to be fine between Folayang and Nguyen, fight fans cannot help but assume that Belingon has the intentions to avenge his fellow Team Lakay fighter at “ONE: Reign of Kings.” This was one of the questions I asked Team Lakay head coach Mark Sangiao during the press conference.
In particular, I asked Sangiao whether or not revenge ever crossed the Team Lakay people’s minds. The team’s head coach emphatically said, “No.”
“This is sport,” Sangiao pointed out. “We compete and we treat it as a sport.”
The Team Lakay head coach shared that these fighters battle it out in the cage but after the bout, they will “embrace again.” Watch my full interview with him here: