‘The Feeling Of Age And History’ – Why Muay Thai Star Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat Loves Restoring Vintage Items

Denis Puric Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat ONE Fight Night 17 24

“No.1” Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat keeps reminders of simpler times to ensure he never forgets where he came from. 

Though the 35-year-old star will showcase his skills to a U.S. primetime audience when he faces Johan “Jojo” Ghazali in a lightweight Muay Thai fight at ONE 167: Tawanchi vs. Nattawut II on Prime Video on June 7, he hails from a much humbler background.  

Growing up in Lam Dong, Vietnam, people around him didn’t have much in the way of material possessions, but they valued the things they possessed. Now, Duy Nhat collects vintage items that remind him of what life used to be like. 

“No.1” spoke to onefc.com ahead of his clash with Ghazali at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand: 

“I was born in a rural area of Vietnam in the ’80s. People’s lives were much harder, not as convenient, and not as colorful as they are today. At that time, owning a set of wooden sofas and a table, or just having a bike, was already enough to be called ‘rich.’ 

“Old bikes and furniture show exactly that they were made for work. They are simple, clean, handy, and sturdy, without any flashy decorations. I love the simpleness and sturdiness of these vintage objects, as well as the feeling of age and history they hold.” 

For Duy Nhat, part of the appeal is bringing these old items back to their former glory – without sacrificing the stories they can tell.  

Always on the lookout for character pieces to add to his collection, “No.1” will go to any length to obtain and revive the artifacts from his childhood:

“I have a set of wooden sofas from the ’70s when Northern and Southern Vietnam reunified. They have a few cracks, but they are still nice and collectible.  

“I bought them from a family in Vinh Phuc Province, which means I had to hire a truck to deliver them 1,755 kilometers to Ho Chi Minh City. The delivery fee was as much as the amount of money I used to buy those sofas! 

“I varnish them but leave the cracks there – they make the chairs look exactly like family heirlooms. I also have some other old furniture, like a black-and-white TV and a dial-up telephone. They remind me so much of dear memories I had when I was a child.” 

Duy Nhat Also Has A Passion For Vintage Motorcycles

Old furniture is one of Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat’s renovation passions, and another is his vintage motorbike collection.  

Once an avid rider, “No.1” loves both old and new two-wheelers – but the classic models really capture his attention:

“I keep a lot of old bikes in my garage. A Honda 67, a Honda Dream, and a Honda Cub. I have a big family now, so I no longer use them to drive anymore. I only maintain them, keep them in good repair.” 

Just as it takes years to attain martial arts mastery, “No.1” sometimes has to bide his time when it comes to his motorcycles.  

He loves to be hands-on and do the work himself, but thanks to the patience he’s accrued through years of dedicated and grueling practice in combat sports, he knows good things eventually come to those who put in consistent work.

Duy Nhat explained: 

“As a bike lover, normally I will fix my own bikes. But maintaining those vintage bikes is not as easy. Replacing old, rusted components of those bikes took me months, even years to find the exact component of the exact bike series required.  

“For example, I had to ask everywhere I went before finding a set of D.I.D. rims in the Mekong River Delta for my Honda 67.  

“Luckily, I have friends that love old bikes too. Without their help, it would be much harder!” 

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