Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, thinks that a fight between Martin Nguyen and Garry Tonon could be a good way to identify who will be the next contender for the ONE featherweight MMA world championship.
At ONE Fight Night 15 on October 6, top-ranked contender Thanh Le defeated Ilya Freymanov through submission in 62 seconds, so earning a shot at a unification bout against divisional king Tang Kai. This victory enabled Thanh Le to book his spot in the bout.
Despite the fact that this fight should be given top priority status to the first one stated, the head honcho of ONE believes that the track record of Martin Nguyen and Tonon will only make this fight more exciting.
When asked about the possibility of a confrontation between the two in the near future, the self-made entrepreneur and lifelong martial artist provided the following reaction in a text message to the South China Morning Post.
In his words:
“Yes, I really like that fight – it’s going to be a lot of fun for the fans, and it also has the potential to lead to a title shot.”
This comes as a result of a heated exchange that took place between the two guys on social media, during which both of them stated a desire to compete against the other.
In addition to this, both athletes have demonstrated their ability to compete for the 26 pounds of gold by achieving success in their respective competitions. That is, of course, assuming that Le and Tang do meet to settle the question of who is the uncontested ruler.
Since the beginning of the year, Tonon has amassed two victories, and both of them were accomplished in the given amount of time.
After dominating Johnny Nunez within of the first round in January, he followed that up by submitting the No. 4-ranked Shamil Gasanov inside of the second round at ONE Fight Night 12 in July.
After suffering a setback to Ilya Freymanov in October of last year, No. 3-ranked challenger Martin Nguyen was able to get back on track with a victory over Leonardo Casotti and get back on track with his winning ways.
Despite the fact that he has had a difficult time putting together a winning streak over the course of the past couple of years, the Australian-Vietnamese athlete is still a formidable opponent for any of the best fighters in the deep division.
Despite the fact that a battle between Tonon and Nguyen would light up the worldwide stage of ONE, the unification clash and rematch between Le and Tang should be a significantly more combustible affair due to the fact that there is so much on the line.