Martin Nguyen Targeting Kim Jae-Woong And Thanh Le
After a run of bad luck in the last couple of years, former ONE featherweight champion Martin Nguyen is motivated to turn things around this year. The 32 year old lost his title to Thanh Le at ONE: Inside The Matrix last October. He was then set to face Kim Jae-Woong twice in April at ONE on TNT 2 and ONE on TNT 4, but both fights were cancelled due to COVID safety protocols.
After his cancelled bouts with Kim, Nguyen kept a low profile and spent some much needed time with his family in Australia, having spent four months training at Sanford MMA in Florida. Speaking to ONE Championship, the Vietnamese-Australian said said that his time away from fighting really helped him recharge his batteries.
“I think I was just totally mentally burnt out and wasn’t feeling like putting my life up on social media. I just wanted to stay quiet and let the bad times flow through,” Nguyen said. “Whatever ONE Championship offers, I’m ready and I’m signing. As soon as a pen hits the paper for the contract, it’s go time.”
Nguyen is preparing for Kim once again as he expects ONE Championship to reschedule the fight. However, he said that he’ll be ready to step back inside the ONE Circle whoever is next opponent is.
“I’m still staying in shape and I’m still working on what we worked on at Sanford in order to be ready for Kim,” Nguyen said. “But in saying that, I’m going to be ready no matter who it is.
“If last minute, someone falls out of a title fight, I’ll step up. But at this moment, I’m planning for me versus Kim. I think a lot of people would want to watch that fight.”
Immediate Title Rematch
Having reigned as the featherweight king for more than three years, Nguyen said he feels that he deserves an immediate rematch with Le. ‘The Situ-Asian’ however, believes Gary Tonon, who is expected to fight for the title next, also deserves a piece of the pie.
“Good on both of them (Le and Tonon),” Nguyen said. “They deserve to fight each other. It was bound to happen. Tonon was going to get his title shot one way or another. I thought [the immediate rematch] was the fight to make with me being a dominant champion for three years. It is what it is. In the near future, I know that I’ll be fighting [Le], so I’m not going to rush into things.”
While he has no plans to rush into anything, Nguyen’s ultimate goal is to avenge his loss to Le and regain his title, and he insists that he will achieve it by hook or by crook.
“Ultimately, for me, it’s about redemption. If he feels that he can perform better — I know I can definitely perform better,” Nguyen said. “I’m not going to talk s*** and swear for my title shot. I’ll do it the right way, and if it’s a victory that I have to get, then I’m going to get that victory.”
Who do you have in a potential rematch between Martin Nguyen and Thanh Le?