Garry Tonon Seeks Title Shot In Sixth MMA Fight

It has been roughly one year since Garry Tonon graced the ONE Circle. In May of 2019, ‘The Lion Killer’ dazzled the audience at ONE: Enter the Dragon when he landed a slick single-leg takedown to heel hook and finished Yoshiki Nakahar in less than one minute. Though shocking, the result of the fight was not necessarily surprising given that the American-born Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion had already shown himself to be one of the most exciting and successful crossovers from the world of grappling.

And while he only has five fights logged with ONE Championship, Tonon continues to see title contention as a possibility in the near future. The grappling phenom made it known in March that he sees himself finishing featherweight champion Martin Nguyen inside of three rounds. Speaking with MMA Junkie, ‘The Lion Killer’ doubled down on his plans to seek a shot at the title despite his relative lack of MMA experience.

“If it means I fight sooner, I’d rather just go for the title shot,” Tonon explained. “I’m looking to get experience under my belt either way honestly. If I have to take one more fight before I fight for the title, that’s OK with me but man, whatever gets me that fight.

“So if the soonest fight is Martin, then let’s do it. He’s one of the big milestones in this sport and in this organisation that I’m looking to overcome. It’s been somebody that I’ve been looking at since day one.”

Though it would constitute a considerable step up in competition, a matchup with Nguyen would solve Tonon’s problems of being unable to find willing opponents. Like fellow featherweight Ryan Hall of the UFC roster, Tonon is such a grappling specialist that he seems to scare off his competition.

“At this point, I just want to get a fight like ASAP because it’s been a long layoff since my last one,” Tonon recalled of his year-long hiatus. “There was a little bit in-contract negotiations, and then I was scheduled to fight and then the corona stuff started happening but towards the end of that, I was trying to push to get the title fight because it seems I’m in a weird spot where alright 5-0, it’s a good record obviously but it’s not like a super experienced record.

“So what ends up happening is, everybody that they ask to fight me that’s not Martin, isn’t really that interested in taking the fight. It’s a tough fight, it’s a dangerous fight for a lot of people…I’m arguably one of the best submission artists in mixed martial arts period or let alone that weight class, that organisation. It’s something that they haven’t seen before and it’s a big risk to take.”

Do you think Garry Tonon is ready for a title shot against Martin Nguyen? And if so, can ‘The Lion Killer’ fulfil his promise to finish the champion inside of three rounds?


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