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Many mixed martial arts fans thought that former ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen would win his bout at ONE: REVOLUTION and go one to challenge the World Champion for the belt. However, “The Fighting God” Kim Jae Woong had plans of his own.
Kim knocked Martin out in the first round of their featherweight scrap last Friday, 24 September, and earned himself a shot at the winner of the impending bout between champion Thanh Le and #3-ranked Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon.
“What’s next for me is Thanh Le, because Thanh Le is the champion right now. But nobody knows what’s going to happen [in the bout with Tonon], so if Tonon wins that fight, I’ll be ready [for him too],” #5-ranked featherweight Kim said.
“I believe I deserve the next title shot for sure because Martin Nguyen is a legend. He has so many records in ONE Championship, and he’s also a two-division World Champion here. Nobody knocked down Martin Nguyen like that in the first round, only me. I believe that I’m the clear next challenger.”
“The Fighting God” holds a 100 percent finishing rate in ONE Championship, having stopped the likes of Martin, Tetsuya “MMA Fantasista” Yamada, and Rafael Nunes. Now fans hope they will get a chance to see whether he can finish Le or Tonon in the same fashion. And as for that upcoming bout between the World Champion and challenger, Kim doesn’t want to pick a winner.
“I can’t make a prediction because I believe every fight is 50-50. Everybody has a 50 percent chance because it’s a fight,” Kim said.
“I do know that, before my fight against Martin, most people thought Martin was going to win. But I didn’t believe in that because I myself thought that I had a 50 percent chance of beating him. It’s the same as Garry Tonon versus Thanh Le.”
Part of Kim’s success in his fight with Martin was that he trained at a new gym leading up to the bout. Moreover, he believes the time he spent there will benefit him well into the future when he does finally meet the winner of Le versus Tonon.
“[Team Alpha Male] has a lot of great fighters out there, a lot of World Champions from different organizations. By mixing up with them and sparring with them, it gave me so much confidence that I’m one of the best also,” Kim said.
“One thing I can say is, whoever wins that fight [between Le and Tonon], I’m ready for both. None of them would give me a problem.”
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