As a student of the game, the Vietnamese-Australian has always prided himself on becoming the best by surrounding himself with people who would help him achieve his dreams in mixed martial arts.
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Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Nguyen first became acquainted with the Myanmar superstar when they were competing on the same card a couple of years ago.
“I first met Aung La [N Sang] in January 2017,” Nguyen explains.
“We both were on the same card in Jakarta. He was fighting in the main event, and I was co-main. We have trained together a few times before my camp here in Florida.”
They became fast friends. Since their first encounter, they have spent time together with their families and leaned on each other for advice.
Recently, while Nguyen was recovering from a knee injury that has kept him out of action since last summer, he spoke with the ONE Light Heavyweight and Middleweight World Champion and received an offer to fly out to Hard Knocks 365 for a training camp in Florida, USA.
How good does Martin "The Situ-Asian" Nguyen look less than ONE month away from his World Title defense in Manila?Manila | 12 April | 7:00PM | Watch on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onehonor19
Posted by ONE Championship on Tuesday, March 19, 2019
“I initially was planning to start my next fight camp after this knee injury back at KMA [Top Team], but after watching my last three bouts, I noticed areas where I needed to improve on,” Nguyen explains.
“After speaking to Aung La [N Sang] about it, I got a message from both himself and [head coach] Henri Hooft advising me that the Hard Knocks doors were always open for me
“I’m the type of athlete that doesn’t like to step outside the circle, but this one was too hard not to deny.”
It was a difficult decision to leave his family back home – halfway around the world in Sydney, Australia – but his venture was made easier by having a close friend to help him with the transition.
Aung La N Sang was gracious enough to open up his home to Nguyen when he touched down on American soil, and offer his support throughout the hard days of training as he prepares for his ONE Middleweight World Title bout with Ken Hasegawa at ONE: A NEW ERA this Sunday, 31 March.
“Aung La [N Sang] and myself have so much in common – [we both] grew up with a young family and had no savings in our accounts,” Nguyen says.
“We both live similar lives, which makes things so much easier. We are both athletes who have the same desire for success. He’s like a brother from another mother.”
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Posted by ONE Championship on Monday, January 7, 2019
Since he arrived in the United States and started to train with the other elite athletes in the gym, the 30-year-old has found the practice sessions with his new team can be grueling.
However, he has also seen improvements in all of the areas he felt he was lacking, and he believes all his hard work will be worth it on 12 April when he returns to action at the Mall Of Asia Arena in Manila in the Philippines.
“Training camp over here is very tough – mentally and physically,” Nguyen says.
“The level of athletes here is second to none, so it requires you to always be on your game in every session. In saying that, it also proves that the success of others does really rub off on you.
“The team has added a lot of confidence in my striking as well as my ground game,” Nguyen says.
“These guys at Hard Knocks are world-class athletes with a world-class attitude. The discipline and grind these guys bring to the table is on another level. I’m truly blessed to be a part of their journey.”
Stinging shots from ONE Featherweight World Champion Martin "The Situ-Asian" Nguyen! ????Download the ONE Super App now ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp
Posted by ONE Championship on Thursday, February 7, 2019
After such a productive trip and training camp, and the chance to spend time with Aung La N Sang, “The Situ-Asian” has not ruled out a return to Hard Knocks 365 in the future.
However, for now, he is focused on completing his training ahead of a pivotal bout against a top-class opponent at ONE: ROOTS OF HONOR.
“I will definitely be considering options in the near future, but [right now], I’m just here to enjoy the process of learning from the best coaches in the game,” he adds.