Former two-division ONE World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen snapped the first losing streak of his MMA career with an emphatic TKO victory over Kirill Gorobets at ONE: LIGHTS OUT on Friday, 11 March.
The finish came after a flurry of strikes in the third round, as Nguyen bounced back in explosive manner at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian phenom snapped a nine-fight winning streak in his ONE Championship debut.
After a lengthy feeling-out process to this featherweight content, Gorobets landed the first punch, connecting on a body shot, although the match was momentarily halted due to an inadvertent low-blow.
On the restart, the Team Storm representative landed a double-leg takedown, although Nguyen positioned himself well, escaped, and even attempted a guillotine choke, before connecting with a knee and a right hand.
“The Situ-Asian” continued to press forward, landing an uppercut along with several head and body combinations. But just when the 10-second clap sounded, Gorobets countered a leg kick with a right straight that momentarily dropped the Vietnamese-American.
The Sanford MMA athlete brushed off the flash knockdown as he opened the second round by stalking Gorobets once more. After a wild exchange, the Ukrainian scored another takedown and tried to take his foe’s back, but the former divisional king got away.
Now in the center of the Circle, Nguyen turned on the heat, connecting with a one-two combo that Gorobets took well. The debutant then tried for a double-leg, but “The Situ-Asian” stuffed it.
From there, a booming right hand stunned Gorobets as he tried to run away, and the Vietnamese-Australian followed up with a clean right hook.
The Ukrainian tried to fire back, but Nguyen ducked and countered with a body shot. He continued his relentless onslaught with a knee and a few more punches – coming extremely close to a finish as the bell sounded.
While Gorobets survived the round, it was apparent the match was Nguyen’s for the taking.
With the Ukrainian looking more and more gassed, the Sydney native meticulously dissected him on the feet, landing body shots and huge right hands.
Feeling desperate, Gorobets went with an overhand right once more, which Nguyen easily blocked.
A body shot then sent the Ukrainian to his knees, and while he showed toughness, there was no stopping “The Situ-Asian,” as a final body blow and a huge left ended the fight for good.
With the pivotal win, Nguyen improved to 14-5 overall, defended his #3 featherweight ranking, and showed that he’s still a serious threat in the division.
What’s more, he proceeded to call out old foe and former lightweight king Christian “The Warrior” Lee for a grappling bout at ONE X. (One Championship)
(Photo credits to: One Championship)