A nickname like ‘The Fighting God’ gives you a lot to live up to. So far Jae Woong Kim seems to be doing a decent job of it.

He knocked out Martin Nguyen at ONE: ‘Revolution’ last Friday and is next in line for a featherweight title shot. The Korean will face the winner of the upcoming clash between champion Thanh Le and Garry Tonon.

He doesn’t mind who wins because he can’t see either of them giving him a problem,

“One thing I can say is, whoever wins that fight I’m ready for both. None of them would give me a problem.”

Hard time

The fight with Nguyen was several months away in the making and Woong says he was impatient to face the former featherweight and lightweight champion,

“After our second fight got canceled, I was actually very sad and very depressed. That was a very hard time for me,” he said.

Having seen the bout fall through twice he didn’t really believe it was happening until fight day came around,

“Even the day before the fight, I was still scared and worried that the fight might get canceled last minute. When I woke up (on) fight day, I was so excited. My heart was burning and I was just ready to go.”

Good result

The win over Nguyen is clearly the biggest of the 28 year old’s career and a moment he will always remember,

“It was a very special moment for me, and the result was good. I’m very happy, and I’m fired up.”

He was able to knock Nguyen out and puts it down to the work he put in training at Team Alpha Male in California,

“I actually trained a lot on my reactions and timing, so whenever I saw my opponent’s left shoulder move, I trained so hard that my body automatically countered it,” he said.

Great champions

Woong says he trained so hard that the finish was instinctive,

“I just saw Martin’s left shoulder move and I didn’t even go for that knockout. My body just moved automatically. When I saw his body go down, I just thought to myself, ‘I have to finish this’ and then that’s what happened.”

Woong says training at Team Alpha Male gave him a lot of confidence because he realized he could hold his own against the top fighters in the world,

“A lot of great fighters out there, a lot of 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.”

Given that he believes he can beat both Le and Tonon easily confidence clearly isn’t an issue for Woong. Will ‘The Fighting God’ go on to win the featherweight title?