While Nguyen is still relatively young in her fight career, she’s seen and gone through a lot in her 29 years, which is why she’s not going to play nice now that she’s got the opportunity of a lifetime in front of her.
After competing on the American reality series ‘Survivor’ last year, Nguyen turned her attention back to fighting with a move to Thailand where she began training full time with Tiger Muay Thai.
Now with her debut in ONE Championship just days away, Nguyen is letting her intentions be known that she joined the organization for one reason only; to win the atomweight championship,
“I have big goals. I am fearless. I want to fight the best of the best. I want Angela Lee,” Nguyen said without hesitation.
“If she moves up to strawweight, I want whoever else is the best of the best. I want to be the champion of ONE Championship. I have things to say and people to help. That’s where I belong and that’s where I’m going to be.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 5, 2019
However Nguyen understands she will have to work her way up the rankings before getting a shot at the champion,
“I’ve always been a believer in paying my dues so whoever they need me to finish, whoever they need me to beat, whoever they want me to take out on the way, I will gladly oblige. I’m happy to pay my dues but I know I will be champion. I want to be the best.”
Her ONE Championship career will start this Friday at ONE: ‘Roots of Honor’ when she faces Dwi Ani Retno Wulan, who will be moving down to atomweight after her first fight took place at strawweight.
Wulan will definitely have the size advantage in this matchup but Nguyen believes her overall skill set will be more than enough to carry her through to victory tomorrow night,
“We saw her fight, she’s obviously much bigger than me. She’s coming down from strawweight, which I don’t have a problem with,” Nguyen said.
“I’m completely confident with the size difference, I don’t mind it at all. It looks like she’s a counter fighter in that fight.”
Nguyen watched her opponent’s first ONE Championship fight and knows what to expect,
“The thing that I’ve got to say, I’m always asked what I think of my opponents and what they will do but it really depends on who they’re fighting. The performance of the fighter is also a reflection of who is opposing them. So the girl she fought kept hunting her and hunting her and she felt comfortable countering. I’m confident everywhere no matter what she throws at me.”
While she eventually wants to take what Lee has around her waist, Nguyen says she is encouraged by the amount of promotion put behind the 22-year old superstar from Hawaii because it lets her know that ONE Championship is serious about women’s MMA.
“It’s sometimes hard to see the possibilities for your own career so it’s very inspiring and motivating to see how well Angela Lee is promoted, how well she’s treated and how well she’s performed,” Nguyen said.
“The fact of the matter is women’s MMA is newer than men’s MMA so it’s very encouraging to see how appreciated and valued she is at the company. That gives me faith. I have faith in myself but that gives me faith that if I win, I show up and show out, I will be taken care of as well.”
In addition to her lofty goals in mixed martial arts, Nguyen said she specifically signed a contract with ONE Championship under the condition that she would eventually be able to cross over into other sports as well.
Specifically, Nguyen wants to return to her roots by competing in Muay Thai, which is another reason why ONE Championship provide her the best possible home for her future.
Nguyen was warned that it would be very difficult to compete in two different disciplines but it’s something she is determined to do.
“I want to fight the best. ONE Championship told me ‘that’s a tough contract’ (to fight Muay Thai and MMA) and I said ‘bring it’. I thrive in challenge.”