Not being content to be One Championship’s first two-division champion Martin Nguyen now drops to bantamweight to go for his third belt as he takes on current champion Bibiano Fernandes. One Championship “Iron Will” takes place March 24th at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand with an iPPV through the promotion’s website.
Martin Nguyen won his first One Championship belt at Featherweight when he defeated Marat Gafurov last August, his second at lightweight when he defeated Eduard Folayang in November. So far all but the Folayang fight in Nguyen’s 10-1 career were at featherweight raising questions of how he will perform lighter than ever. Nguyen’s only loss was to Gafurov in September 2015 while since then Nguyen has rattled off six wins in a row. Bibiano Fernandes enters this bout 21-3 with thirteen wins in a row, his last loss being to Hiroyuki Takaya on New Year’s Eve in 2010. Fernandes became One Championship bantamweight champion in October 2013 with a defeat of Soo Chul Kim and has since defended the belt six times. In 2016 Fernandes defended against Reece McLaren and Kevin Belingon while his 2017 defense was against Andrew Leone. Although this is an intriguing matchup for bragging rights it is difficult to see Nguyen defeat such a dominant champion in the first time fighting at this weight when his last year he was moving up in weight.
Also on the card grappling star Garry Tonon makes his MMA debut as he takes on Richard Corminal. In a grappling match in One Championship Tonon defeated former lightweight champion Shinya Aoki while his training for this MMA fight included Georges St. Pierre and Jake Shields as training partners. Corminal holds a record of 4-3 in MMA with a stretch in One Championship of 0-2 with losses to Shannon Wiratchai and Arnaud Lepont. Although Tonon is the heavy odds favorite he is best known in grappling for his use of leg attacks which can be difficult to perform in a contest with strikes making it interesting to see how he adapts his style.
- Hisyam Samsudin vs. Sunoto
- Jake Butler vs. Gilberto Galvao
- Alain Ngalani vs. Ariunbold Tur-Ochir
- Kritsada Kongsrichai vs. Robin Catalan
- Garry Tonon vs. Richard Corminal
- Waqar Umar vs. Zhao Zhi Kang
- Saygid Guseyn Arslanaliev vs. Tetsuya Yamada
- Rika Ishige vs. Angelie Sabanal
- Shannon Wiratchai vs. Rahul Raju
- Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke vs. Jeremy Miado
- BW title: Bibiano Fernandes vs. Martin Nguyen