Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen, ONE Championship's two-division title holder has big goals, and it's all in the name of family.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL LEARN:
What it takes to be a two-division title holder with ONE Championship
Master Fari Salievski’s massive contribution to Martin Nguyen’s MMA career
How Martin’s Rugby League career evolved into his Martial Arts Journey
Martin’s source of inspiration
How he is able to balance his family, work and martial arts life
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This MMA career is about family for me, so you’ve already addressed that family situation, so I mean, it’s more than I could ever ask for at the end of the day.
GEORGE: Hi, this is George Fourie and welcome to another Martial Arts Media business podcast. In this episode though, we are going to venture off from the business side of things. And I’ve got a really special guest with me today, who’s created a bit of a stir in the MMA world and has just recently become a two-division title holder with ONE Championship. So I want to welcome to the show Martin Nguyen.
MARTIN: Hey man, thanks for having me on the show.
GEORGE: Awesome. Cool, so Martin, Martin’s name might first be familiar, I know I’ve spoken to Master Fari Salievski a few times on the podcast and the last time, it was after your first title fight.
MARTIN: Malaysia, against Marat Gafurov.
GEORGE: That was the one, the featherweight one. And we had a bit of a chat just about your training and the process from there. But then you went on to… moved up to lightweight as well and you took the title there as well. So first, I guess I want to say congratulations!
MARTIN: Thank you, thank you. It wasn’t a plan to move up to the lightweight division, Eduard Folayang, the former title holder is a friend of mine and the plan was never to move up, but it actually played well in my favor after some agreements, but yeah.
GEORGE: We’re going to get into all the details of that, but I guess we should just take a few steps back. I mean, before all these events started happening in your life, who is Martin really?
MARTIN: Oh, I’m just a regular guy. I work full time, I’m a father of three, married, husband… yeah, just a normal regular guy, that just loves mixed martial arts, loves training, loves the competitiveness and just love the disciplinary actions that come with it.
GEORGE: Ok, so now, I’ve just been reading a couple of things about you, just to get an idea of your background. So you got started in martial arts fairly late I guess?
MARTIN: Yeah, I started mixed martial arts when I was 21, so at that stage, that was when UFC was starting to boom, I was coming off an injury from the rugby league and I was a bit overweight you know, and lost a bit of confidence. So a friend of mine introduced me to Master Fari and KMA school gym and I started with Brazilian jiu-jitsu, just the grappling side of it. I loved it and was stuck from day one and we kept going from there.
GEORGE: So 21, and you’re now 28?
MARTIN: Yeah, I’m 28. I’ve been in the martial arts game for about 7 years now.
GEORGE: At what point did you… so, you came from rugby – did you quit rugby completely and then just moved over to martial arts?
MARTIN: No, no, when I was 16, I was playing rugby league, Harold Matthews cup and just caught a few injuries through Harold Matthews and just played rugby league up until I was about 18 years old. Come to the end of C grade, I called it quits, just too many injuries, recurring. So 19, 19 to 21… actually, when I was 19, I took time off everything, and 20 to 21, I started lifting weights and I got a bit big, more fatty-stocky, but yeah. And then from there, that's when my friend introduced me and we went from there.
GEORGE: Alright, cool. So you start this martial arts journey and at what point did you feel it’s time …