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Nguyen seeks to become first two-division One champ

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Martin Nguyen is on track to become the first fighter from One Championship to hold two MMA titles at the same time.

The current One featherweight champ goes up to lightweight to challenge Eduard Folayang for his One lightweight title in the main event of One: Legends of the World at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on Nov. 10.

[Related Story: Folayang, Nguyen collide in champ vs champ clash in Pasay]

The Australian-based Vietnamese pug, however, admitted that if he had his way, he would not fight the Filipino MMA star that he admires a lot.

“I like Eduard. I said to myself I did not want to compete against someone I like and take away their glory, but opportunities like this do not come around too often,” he said. “If I refused to do this, someone else was going to compete against him and take his glory. So it is strictly business.”

Meanwhile, Nguyen thinks he has the formula to strip Folayang of his belt to become a two-division champ.

“Eduard is the counter striker, and everyone who comes forward gets hit with a spinning attack, a big right hand, or big kicks. You have to keep moving against someone like Eduard. If you do not move, then you are a standing punching bag. With my style, I am always moving. If I am going backwards, sideways, or forward, I want to make it hard for him to hit me, and I want to make every bit of my wrestling count,” Nguyen further said.

As the "super fight" nears, Nguyen is glad that the career breakthroughs keep on coming to him.

“I beat Marat [Gafurov], and I got the featherweight belt. Now I am in a super bout for the first time ever in One Championship history to become a two-division champion. Everything is falling into place. It is appealing to know all hard work pays off,” he stressed.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno