by Elishah Pangilinan
“This match is going to be stopped,” he guaranteed. “I would love for it to be a KO, but I see it as a submission or a TKO , of course.” said Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen
The 28-year-old Vietnamese-Australian standout knocked out the previously unbeaten Marat “Cobra” Gafurov last August.
Nguyen is set to challenge Filipino martial arts superstar Eduard “Landslide” Folayang for the ONE Lightweight World Championship in the main event of ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD, on Nov 10 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines
"Clash with Edward as a dream come true, " said Nguyen
“Following my title win, I took a one-month vacation. 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 Folayang,” he shared.
After signing the bout agreement for the cross-divisional showdown with Folayang, Nguyen immediately headed back into training camp and will train as usual with KMA Top Team in Sydney, Australia to figure out the puzzle that is the ONE Lightweight World Champion.
“Eduard’s striking is pretty legit. A bit wild, but it works for him. Everyone who gets tagged by Eduard, they walk into every single one of his strikes and put pressure on him. But Eduard is the counter striker, and everyone who comes forward gets hit with a spinning attack, a big right hand, or big kicks,” he explained.
“Nguyen plans to use that to his advantage, believing his speed and dynamism will be his keys to victory in the five-round championship contest.
“My strength in this match is my pace and my cardio. Eduard has legitimate cardio, obviously, training in Baguio City, but going at the pace I go at, I think he is going to fatigue, and my grappling will get the best of him. He is a strong guy, but I will use his weight against him in this match,” he stated.
Nguyen knows that he has quite the challenge ahead of him, especially since he is heading into Folayang’s home turf of Manila in the Philippines.
However, Nguyen is up to the task and trusts in his plan that he will take home the ONE Lightweight World Championship and write his name in history books.
“It is so surreal, Last year, I set my goals. 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. Everything is falling into place. It is appealing to know all hard work pays off,” he stressed.
Nguyen remains optimistic that a decisive outcome will be in his favor at ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD.
ONE Championship has been planning a foray into the Southeast Asian country, and Nguyen could be at the forefront in bringing martial arts to that audience.
Nguyen has been to his homeland only a few times in his life, but he already feels a responsibility to the Vietnamese community, having been raised by one himself.
“I would love for ONE Championship to go to Vietnam, not only to motivate other Vietnamese athletes, but just the whole community. 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,” he said.