After plenty of speculation, ONE Championship has finally confirmed that Martin Nguyen will be facing Bibiano Fernandes for the ONE Bantamweight World Championship.
Nguyen, who recently defeated Eduard Folayang to become the first-ever simultaneous two-division champion in ONE Championship history, will be competing for his third title in the hope of becoming an unprecedented three-division champion.
“The Situ-Asian” had been leaving a trail of clues for those who were wondering who his next opponent might be.
— Jake Nichols (@JakeNicholsMMA) November 16, 2017
Once Chatri Sityodtong announced that Martin Nguyen and Bibiano Fernandes would be meeting sometime early next year with the ONE World Bantamweight Championship on the line, Nguyen spoke with The Body Lock about the matchup:
“We got the hint that ONE Championship wanted to make this match happen sometime in the future after my last victory against Eduard [Folayang].”
“The morning after Legends of the World, I met with Chatri [Sityodtong] and he confirmed that this fight will happen and that he was running it by Bibiano’s camp. We both accepted the fight and the rest is history.”
It seems like Sityodtong and the ONE Championship team aren’t shying away from ‘super-fights’ at the moment. The ONE Championship middleweight champion, Aung La N Sang, battled heavyweight star Alain Ngalani in an open-weight contest earlier this month. Just one week later, Nguyen claimed his second title after defeating Eduard Folayang for the ONE Lightweight World Championship.
Nguyen will now prepare for his third consecutive title challenge. He explained to The Body Lock that his contest with Bibiano Fernandes will be the most challenging of all:
“This fight with Bibiano [Fernandes] will be the toughest fight of my MMA career. It’s mind-blowing that I get to share the ONE Championship with a legend of this sport. Win or lose, it’s truly an honor.”
Right now, the only thing unconfirmed is the time and place for this spectacular event.
Chatri Sityodtong explained: “We are definitely going to make the fight happen. Bibiano has accepted, and Martin has accepted. So, it’s going to happen, it’s just a question of when.”
Sityodtong explains: “Bibiano and Martin want this to happen in March.”
Jake is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief, based in Tasmania, Australia.