It wasn’t the fight he called for, but Martin Nguyen has been granted a cross-divisional showdown that will see him challenge ONE’s lightweight world champion Eduard Folayang for his title.
Earlier this month, Nguyen, the newly minted featherweight champion, told The Fight Nation he was looking to face ONE’s bantamweight king Bibiano Fernandes, but will instead move to lightweight in a bout that is sure to produce fireworks. The event will take place at ONE: Legends of the World at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on 10 November.
This will be the second title defence for Folayang since winning the title against Shinya Aoki in Singapore last year. The Team Lakay trained fighter said he was constantly in search of challenges and welcomed Nguyen to his division.
“This is a bout for the fans, and I can’t wait to perform in front of my hometown crowd in Manila once again,” Folayang said.
“I have complete respect for my opponent’s skills and together with my brothers at Team Lakay, my coach Mark Sangiao, I’m preparing to showcase the best version of Eduard Folayang on 10 November.”
The 28-year-old Nguyen (9-1) scored the biggest victory of his career when he stopped former undefeated featherweight champion Marat Gafurov to capture the featherweight title.
“New Years will be coming early this year, because in this fight there will definitely be fireworks,” he said.
“I’m out not only to make a statement, but to go down in history as the best to ever compete under the ONE Championship banner. I have the utmost respect for the lightweight champion, and will definitely not take his skills for granted. But this is going to be a dog fight.
“It’s the first time two champions in different divisions go head-to-head in ONE, and I am excited to give the performance of a lifetime. The real winner of this bout will be the fans at the Mall of Asia Arena.”