The Vietnamese-American put on an inspirational performance for her fans in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam to defeat India’s Puja “The Cyclone” Tomar in an exciting women’s atomweight Muay Thai clash.
Hometown hero ???????? Bi Nguyen returns to the winner's circle with a hard-earned split decision victory over Indian hero Puja Tomar!????: Check local listings for global broadcast details????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp????: Shop Official Merchandise ???? http://bit.ly/ONECShop
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, 6 September 2019
It was an unforgettable ONE Super Series debut for both athletes from the mixed martial arts ranks, as they went toe-to-toe from the opening bell.
Tomar competed from a southpaw stance and used her side kicks to try and stop Nguyen from moving into boxing range, but the Heritage Muay Thai representative succeeded at getting inside on several occasions.
Whenever she did, the Indian wushu champion replied with counter strikes, and it was difficult to say who had the advantage when the first round was over.
Tomar kicked off the second stanza with a similar approach, but “Killer Bee” reacted by changing up her attack to throw more kicks.
Nguyen kept the Muzaffarnagar native on the back foot for most of the round and landed clean punches as she stalked her rival around the ring. By the time the bell rang again, she seemed to have complete control of the match.
Nguyen knew a win was within reach, and at the start of the final frame, she tried to close out the contest in style. She did not allow Tomar any space to breathe as she flurried forward with boxing, and then let rip with knees in the clinch before she scored with a dump.
The Indian athlete was subjected to constant pressure, and “Killer Bee” looked more and more dangerous as she started to overwhelm her opponent.
A short moment of reprieve came for “The Cyclone” when ringside doctors were called to check a cut on her forehead with around 30 seconds remaining, but more knees were waiting for her after the restart.
Nguyen continued where she left off and unleashed heavy strikes in the clinch, which caused Tomar to collapse onto the canvas as referee Olivier Coste stepped in at the end of the match and put the contest in the hands of the judges.
One scored it in favor of Tomar, but two cards for the “Killer Bee” gave her the split decision, and she was elated when she spoke with Mitch Chilson in front of the roaring Vietnamese crowd.
“Thank you to my Vietnamese family and people for welcoming and encouraging me – and my family that came out,” she said.
“Thank you ONE for bringing this show to Vietnam because we deserve it and we’re going to do great things with it.”