Martin Nguyen Opens Up About ‘Huge Sacrifice’ Of Training Camps Away From Family

Martin Nguyen stands in the ring at ONE Fight Night 7

When Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen squares off with Garry “The Lion Killer” Tonon on January 28 at ONE 165: Superlek vs. Takeru, he’ll be fighting with his loved ones in mind.

That high-stakes matchup in Tokyo could be #3-ranked Nguyen’s chance to secure a shot at the ONE Featherweight MMA World Title – a belt he once held alongside the ONE Bantamweight MMA World Title.

Now in the final weeks of his preparations for #1-ranked Tonon at the Ariake Arena, the 34-year-old has spent nearly two full months away from his family, in the thick of a training camp at Florida’s Kill Cliff FC.

While he misses his wife and children desperately, the Vietnamese-Australian superstar told that they are his motivation in every decision:

“They’re always my why. They’re always my why, regardless of being in camp or without camp or whatever. They’re always the reason why I do everything.”

For Nguyen, living on the other side of the globe represents a massive challenge, but it’s one he understands is necessary to capitalize on the incredible opportunity before him:

“Look, I just gotta think of it this way – I’m not in this sport forever. So, the time away, yes, it is a huge sacrifice. Huge sacrifice. But that’s only for the time being, you know?

“Every fight that I get, I have to make sure that I am the most well prepared, so there’s no excuses every single time, win or lose. It’s the example I want to set for my family and my kids as well.”

Indeed, a victory over Tonon would do wonders for “The Situ-Asian’s” aspirations to once again hold 26 pounds of gold.

He knows that seeking out the best training possible, free from distractions, is critical, especially when facing perhaps the most feared contender in the talent-rich featherweight MMA division.

Moreover, Nguyen knows that his wife is making significant sacrifices of her own during this time:

“It’s somewhat easy for me because I know what needs to be done. The tough decision comes from my wife. She’s the one that has to deal and step up and be a double parent and look after three kids and going through their lives as well, running around and making sure their lives are on track, as well as hers.

“So, her life kind of like goes on pause to look after the kids, where it’s usually like a teamwork thing.”

Despite spending training camps away from his native Australia, the former two-division titleholder remains a family man through and through.

To that end, he takes advantage of every moment spent at home with his family, grateful for that time and the lifestyle that being a ONE Championship superstar has afforded him:

“My whole family knows that it’s all for them at the end, and then obviously, it’s for me as well. But it’s all for them and the life we get to live with me being at home, being able to take them to school, pick them up from school.

“Some parents don’t even get to see their kids throughout the whole day. I have the blessing of seeing them, so it’s all part of the sacrifice.”

Martin Nguyen’s Latest Christmas Away From Family 

Given the timing of his January 28 showdown with American BJJ superstar Garry Tonon at ONE 165, Martin Nguyen was forced to spend the holiday season away from his family.

To ease the distance between them, he spent plenty of time on video calls with his wife and children.

What’s more, he was able to get a taste of family life, thanks to his training partner and former ONE Light Heavyweight and Middleweight MMA World Champion Aung La N Sang:

“What does it look like? A lot of sleep during the festive time. Obviously, a lot of FaceTime phone calls over there and spending time over here with Aung La’s family. So, I kind of get to enjoy their side of Christmas and their families getting together. It’s one big family.”

Ultimately, Nguyen does his best to be both a father and a full-time fighter, no matter the distance between him and his own family.

He added:

“As I said, a lot of FaceTime with my family and making sure I keep up with everything that’s going on over there, that my wife’s been running. It’s a bit full-on, but yeah, I don’t really kind of get to think of it. I just kind of get as much rest as possible, getting ready for the next training session, because that’s the reason why I’m here.”

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