Lights, Camera, Action!


Martin Nguyen looks to inspire as ONE Championship’s first two-division champion

ONE Championship featherweight titleholder Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen (10-1-0) became the company’s first two-division champion on Nov. 10 by moving up to defeat lightweight kingpin Eduard Folayang (18-6-0) in the first round at ONE: Legends of the World in Manila.

Nguyen, 28, used a right hook counter in the first round to cement his place in company history. Only three months earlier, he defeated Marat Gafurov at ONE: Quest for Greatness to capture the featherweight belt.

“Following my [featherweight] title win, I took a one-month vacation,” he told ONE Championship prior to the lightweight title bout. “But in my mind, I really wanted to compete. I was so eager to return to the cage once more before the conclusion of 2017. My wish came true in the form of this dream match against Eduard Folayang.”

Now that Nguyen concurrently reigns supreme in two weight classes, the proud Vietnamese-Australian can focus on positively impacting others.

“I want to inspire people,” he told ONE Championship in the preamble. “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.”

And if the company decides to visit Vietnam, you can be sure Nguyen will be looking to put on a show for the hometown crowd.

“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.”


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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