It was a serious knee injury that dethroned Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, 29, of Australia and Vietnam as the ONE Lightweight World Championship. On September 28, 2018, ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong officially announced the Vietnamese-Australian mixed martial artist’s decision to relinquish the belt.
According to Chatri, Nguyen is still the reigning ONE Featherweight World Champion. The ONE Championship head honcho added that the Vietnamese-Australian champion is still welcome should he decided to return to the lightweight division.
Nguyen earned his first belt on August 18, 2017 when he captured the ONE Featherweight World Champion belt from then champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov, 33, of Russia. They headlined “ONE: Quest for Greatness” at the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
While reigning as the ONE Featherweight World Champion, Nguyen became the ONE Lightweight World Champion on November 10, 2017 when he dethroned then champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang, 34, of the Philippines. They headlined “ONE: Legends of the World” at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
After becoming the first ever two-division world champion of ONE Championship, Nguyen made an attempt to have his third division title but failed. He unsuccessfully challenged reigning ONE Bantamweight Word Champion Bibiano “The Flash” Fernandes, 38, of Brazil at “ONE: Iron Will” at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on March 24, 2018.
On May 18, 2018, Nguyen defended his ONE Featherweight World Champion belt for the first time. Christian “The Warrior” Lee, 20, of Singapore was not able to dethrone the Vietnamese-Australian champion at “ONE: Unstoppable Dreams” at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.
The ONE Lightweight World Champion title has yet to be defended since Nguyen held. Among the top contenders of the division now are Folayang, former champion Shinya “Tobikan Judan” Aoki, 35, of Japan and former title contender Ev “E.T.” Ting, 29, of New Zealand and Malaysia.
Ting and Aoki will face each other on October 6, 2018 at the Impact Arena at “ONE: Kingdom of Heroes,” which will feature six MMA matches, seven ONE Super Series contests and one boxing bout. They will compete in the lightweight division in the 12th bout of the evening.
Meanwhile, with Nguyen’s relinquishment of ONE Lightweight World Champion title, ONE Championship now has only one two-division world champion. “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang, 33, of Myanmar is the reigning ONE Middleweight and Lightweight World Champion.
Get to know a little bit more about Nguyen here: