Martin Nguyen might be known for having a thunderbolt of a right hand but that hasn’t stopped the Australian from studying the ground game. He took to Instagram last night to announced that he had earned a brown belt in BJJ.

Nguyen has been studying at the Cabra Kai Academy in Sydney under BJJ black belt Kian Pham who decided he had earned a promotion:


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A post shared by Martin Nguyen (@itsmartiinn)

Veteran trainer

Pham is a veteran of 16 MMA fights. He fought on ONE Championship’s tenth event in 2013, dropping a decision to BJJ black belt Almiro Barros and has also faced Reece McLaren at a regional event in Australia.

But these days he is strictly focused on BJJ. Pham has a lot in common with Nguyen, both have roots in Vietnam but were raised in Australia.

Ngyen’s stock fell slightly after suffering back to back ONE Championship losses. The first of those defeats cost him his featherweight title and it feels a long time since he held titles in two weight divisions and came very close to winning a third.

Comeback trail

But he still boasts a very impressive 14-5 record and eight of his last ten fights have had ONE Championship titles on the line. The 33 year old is ranked #3 at lightweight and has been very vocal about wanting a rematch with Thanh Le.

He made his debut in 2012 and has been a professional mixed martial artist for a decade. But Nguyen is still eager to learn and is happy to don a gi in order to do it.

He hasn’t won a fight by submission since 2016 when he finished Christian Lee with a guillotine choke. But Nguyen has not been submitted since 2015 which suggests he knows exactly how to handle himself on the ground.

The Australian has spent a lot of time training at Sanford MMA in Florida. The camp has proved popular with ONE Championship stars like Yuya Wakamatsu, Aung La Nsang and Brandon Vera.

But he is based in Sydney and has three children so can’t spent the entire year in the US. It seems Nguyen has found somewhere to hone his BJJ skills a bit closer to home and the former ONE Championship featherweight and lightweight champion is leaving no stone unturned on his comeback trail.