Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen is not very familiar with the judges. After all, every one of the ONE Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion’s professional wins has ended inside the distance, and in spectacular fashion.
The Vietnamese-Australian is capable of finishing world-class opposition in the blink of an eye. He has promised to do it again on Friday, 18 March, when he defends the featherweight world title against Christian “The Warrior” Lee at ONE: UNSTOPPABLE DREAMS in Singapore.
Before the 29-year-old arrives at the Singapore Indoor Stadium for his first title defense, take a quick look at four of his most spectacular victories.
The Title-Winning Overhand Right
The first time Nguyen clashed with Marat “Cobra” Gafurov for the ONE Interim Featherweight World Title at ONE: ODYSSEY OF CHAMPIONS in September 2015, it was not his night. Coming in on mere days’ short notice, he was submitted in the first round.
When they rematched two years later for the undisputed ONE Featherweight World Championship, however, it was a very different story.
At ONE: QUEST FOR GREATNESS in August 2017, the Vietnamese-Australian followed a precise game plan to defend takedowns and submissions until his opponent was frustrated, and the time was right to strike.
As Gafurov came forward with an inside low kick, Nguyen fired an explosive overhand right that slammed into the Dagestani’s chin. “Cobra” fell to the canvas, and “The Situ-Asian” pounced to deliver the finishing blows.
It was over at 1:27 of round two, and a new featherweight king was crowned.
A Historic One-Punch Knockout
In November 2017, three months after claiming the featherweight world title, Nguyen was given a chance to make history.
At ONE: LEGENDS OF THE WORLD, he was matched up in ONE’s first-ever world champion showdown, and challenged Eduard “Landslide” Folayang for the ONE Lightweight World Title.
While no one doubted his skill, some questioned whether the KMA Top Team product could maintain his speed and stopping power after moving up a weight class. They got their answer in round two.
At 2:20 of the second frame, Nguyen pounced as “The Landslide” threw one of his trademark spinning back kicks. Before the Filipino star could fully rotate, he was struck by a right hand that was perfectly placed on his chin. Folayang was knocked out instantly, and Nguyen became the first-ever two-division ONE World Champion.
A Lightning Counter
If you blinked, you might have missed this one.
“The Situ-Asian” did not have it all his way in the early stages of his contest with two-division DEEP Champion Kazunori Yokota. The Japanese veteran proved to be a difficult puzzle to solve in their January 2017 clash at ONE: QUEST FOR POWER.
Initially, Yokota’s feints, fakes, and unorthodox rhythm made Nguyen hesitant to attack. However, it was only a matter of time before he found his range and the perfect time to let loose.
It happened in a fraction of a second. The instant Yokota stepped forward to jab, he was hit with Nguyen’s signature overhand right. He dropped, and the Vietnamese-Australian dove in to punctuate a stunning victory.
Coming at just 3:36 of the match, it was Nguyen’s fourth first-round stoppage in a row, and it earned him his date with destiny against Gafurov.
The Submission That Launched The Rivalry
When Christian “The Warrior” Lee enters the cage to challenge for the ONE Featherweight World Title on Friday, he will have to face a man who has already defeated him.
Though his August 2016 bout with Nguyen at ONE: HEROES OF THE WORLD was a back-and-forth affair, the teenage sensation was on the receiving end for most of the attacks.
The beginning of the end came just after Lee landed his best strike of the match. The young Singaporean chased “The Situ-Asian” down, but left himself too open. A blistering left hook that put Lee on the mat, but the strike did not finish him off.
However, it only took another few seconds before the referee was forced to jump in. After attempting a few follow-up strikes, Nguyen latched onto Lee’s neck as he got back to his feet, and locked up an inescapable guillotine choke. Attempts to get free only made it deeper, and Lee was put to sleep at 4:30 of round one.