Like all of ONE Championship’s heroes, Nguyen’s journey has been littered with a tremendous amount of hardship. However, the 31-year-old Vietnamese-American has always found a way to triumph over adversity, and she plans to earn a signature win next Saturday.
Before she steps into the Circle to face the Indian wrestling sensation at ONE: DANGAL, here are five things you must know about “Killer Bee.”
#1 A ‘Survivor’ Contestant
Nguyen is best known outside of martial arts for her stint on a popular reality TV show – and it wasn’t “The Apprentice: ONE Championship Edition.”
The Xtreme Couture representative competed on the 37th season of “Survivor.” For that season, entitled “David vs. Goliath,” the contestants were separated into two different tribes – lifelong underdogs were placed in the David tribe and overachievers were selected for the Goliath tribe.
As someone who had faced many obstacles, Nguyen was a member of the David tribe. However, her time on the show was short-lived.
After two challenge wins, Nguyen suffered an injury to her knee. Fearing the injury could impact her career as a professional athlete, “Killer Bee” resigned from the show.
#2 Overcame An Abusive Relationship
After moving from California to Texas when she was 15 years old, Nguyen fell in love with a guy and they started dating. Unfortunately, she experienced both physical and emotional abuse over the next four years.
The Vietnamese-American suffered violent outbursts from her then-boyfriend and saw no escape from the relationship. But fate would intervene in the form of a car accident.
While fleeing from law enforcement, Nguyen’s boyfriend crashed and flipped the car with her in the passenger seat. At the hospital, medical professionals identified old injuries “Killer Bee” had suffered during the abuse, and it became the first time she opened up about it to anyone.
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#3 Lived In A Gym
Having to start from scratch after her previous relationship, Nguyen found herself homeless at the age of 22.
“Killer Bee” found refuge under the roof of her local gym, 4oz Fight Club, at the start of her martial arts journey. In exchange for her meager accommodations, the Vietnamese-American handled front desk and cleaning duties.
With her coaches eyeing her talent, Nguyen made her Muay Thai debut and won. Nguyen is proof that putting in the hard work and making sacrifices leads to ultimate success.
#4 Empowers Women In Her Community
In addition to wanting to win the ONE Women’s Atomweight World Title, Nguyen has goals outside of the Circle. The Xtreme Couture representative wants to empower women so that they, too, can reach their potential.
Nguyen volunteers at women’s shelters, does public speaking engagements about her life experiences, and provides self-defense seminars.
The Vietnamese-American has not let the COVID-19 pandemic slow her down either. Nguyen has found ways to offer her services through webinars to continue her work for women’s empowerment.
#5 Routinely Performed An *NSYNC Song At Family Gatherings
When the unforgettable beat of *NSYNC’s “Bye Bye Bye” hits, Nguyen is instantly transported back to her childhood.
As a child, “Killer Bee” would put on shows for her family during Christmas, where she would lip-sync to the smash hit while performing the full dance routine.
The atomweight’s charming holiday performance would become an annual tradition, and it’s a memory that will last a lifetime for the Nguyen family.