It’s been a rough trot for Martin Nguyen since he was awarded ONE Championship’s Martial Artist of the Year in 2017. “The Situ-Asian” rose to fame after crushing the previously unbeaten Marat Gafurov to win the featherweight title in August 2017. He then backed it up with a legitimately terrifying knockout of lightweight champion Eduard Folayang in November 2017.
Nguyen was a two-division champion and sought more. In his next fight, he challenged Bibiano Fernandes for the bantamweight title but lost a tight split decision. Until that day, Nguyen had never made it to the scorecards. He’d finished all of his opponents and only ever been defeated by Gafurov when he only had four fights under his belt.
Since then, however, the 30-year-old has been tied to decision outcomes in his next two fights. He successfully defended his title against current lightweight challenger Christian Lee before then attempting to earn another shot at Fernandes. Nguyen was matched against tough Team Lakay fighter Kevin Belingon in an interim featherweight title fight in July last year but would go on to lose a unanimous decision after never really kicking into gear.