Martin Nguyen (12-3) is set to defend his ONE Featherweight Championship for the second time in 2019.
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ONE Championship has announced that “The Situ-Asian” will defend his title from fast-rising Japanese contender Koyomi Matsushima (11-3) at the upcoming ONE: Dawn of Heroes event in Manila, Philippines, on August 2.
By the time he enters the cage at the Mall of Asia Arena, Nguyen will have held the featherweight title for over two years. Nguyen claimed the title when he defeated Marat Gafurov by stunning knockout in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in August 2017.
After that victory, Nguyen rose to greater heights by winning the ONE Lightweight Championship from Eduard Folayang just three months later. As a two-division champion in the promotion, Nguyen then moved down to bantamweight to challenge Bibiano Fernandes and try to become the first owner of three belts at once. On that night, Fernandes stopped Nguyen’s six-fight winning streak by winning a split decision.
Since then, Nguyen has defended his featherweight title successfully against current lightweight champion Christian Lee, as well as losing in another bid for bantamweight gold when he met Kevin Belingon in an interim title match.
Late in 2018, a knee injury resulted in Nguyen opting to vacate the ONE Lightweight Championship and instead focus on rehabilitation. In April, the 30-year-old returned to action and defended his title with a brilliant second-round knockout against Narantungalag Jadambaa.
Against him at ONE: Dawn of Heroes is 26-year-old Koyomi Matsushima. Formerly competing in Pancrase and Shooto, Matsushima transitioned to ONE Championship in September where he proceeded to knock out former featherweight champion Marat Gafurov in just 2 minutes and 41 seconds. Matsushima picked up his second win in ONE Championship in June when he defeated Won Il Kwon by unanimous decision.
Nguyen vs. Matsushima will serve as the main event of ONE: Dawn of Heroes in Manila, Philippines, on August 2.
Find the currently announced fights for this event below.
ONE: Dawn of Heroes Fight Card
- Martin Nguyen vs. Koyomi Matsushima
- Jonathan Haggerty vs. Rodtang Jitmuangnon
- Eddie Alvarez vs. Eduard Folayang
- Timofey Nastyukhin vs. Honorio Banario
- Demetrious Johnson vs. Tatsumitsu Wada
- Danny Kingad vs. Kairat Akhmetov
Formerly the lead MMA Editor at RealSport.