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Martin Nguyen refusing to be stepping stone for Kim Jae Woong, aims for title shot

Bengaluru, September 14: Martin Nguyen has refused to be a stepping stone for his next opponent Kim Jae Woong as the former champion aims to get back the title he lost at the last year's ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX event.

Martin "The Situ-Asian" Nguyen, who held the ONE Featherweight World Championship for three years, dropped the belt to current titleholder Thanh Le in October 2020 and wants to win back the title by starting with a victory in his next bout.

"The Situ-Asian" knows every bout will be critical, which includes his upcoming clash against "The Fighting God" Kim Jae Woong at ONE: REVOLUTION on Friday, 24 September at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. And the Aussie brawler is ready to take the action wherever it needs to go.

"If my objective is to get this title back, every fight counts. So whether it's Kim Jae Woong, Garry Tonon, or Koyomi Matsushima, no matter who it is, it's a must-win," Nguyen said.

"Whether I take [Kim] down, whether I stand and strike with him, I will make sure that I'm always first. As I said, whatever it takes to get my hand raised. For me, I'd like to knock him out, but I will finish the fight wherever it may be possible."

Kim, meanwhile, is looking to crack the official strawweight rankings by beating the former World Champion. And it's a mindset "The Situ-Asian" respects, although he also believes Kim is playing a dangerous game.

"He's [doing] the right things, [trying to] take out a top-five contender. The most important thing I have to say to him is be careful what you wish for," Nguyen said.

"The Fighting God" is entering this bout after beating Tetsuya "MMA Fantasista" Yamada, and he's equally hungry to reach the top of the heap. However, Nguyen plans to stop the momentum of his rising opponent.

"A lot of athletes like to get the easy fights before they get to the top," he said.

"It makes sense, right? I [have been] the most dominant champion for the last three years. They see me as a stepping stone to get them to that fast track into the
World Title shot, and I'll welcome any challenge."

Some fans might be counting out Nguyen after his last KO loss to Le, but the former champ is promising to return to peak form.

"The hunger is still there - the hunger to better myself every day and be the best I can be in the Circle," he said.

"This is what I do. This is what I live and breathe, and [I'm going to do] anything possible to do the right things to get that title back."

In the main event of ONE: REVOLUTION, Christian Lee will defend his ONE Lightweight Championship against Ok Rae Yoon, while Captain (from Petchyindee Academy) will defend the Kickboxing World Bantamweight title against Mehdi Zatout.

Also on the card, Yosuke Saruta would look to take back the Strawweight Championship that he lost to Joshua Pacio in their trilogy fight. The likes of Amir Aliakbari and Anatoly Malykhin will also feature on the card.

Watch Nguyen vs. Kim when ONE Championship returns with ONE: REVOLUTION on Friday, 24 September. Catch all the action live and for free by downloading the ONE Super App in Apple App store or Google Play Store.

Source: Media Release

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Story first published: Tuesday, September 14, 2021, 14:00 [IST]
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