Most martial arts gyms around the world have been temporarily shut down by their respective country’s government due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that has not stopped “No.1” Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat from keeping himself in tiptop shape and looking towards the future.
The Vietnamese Muay Thai practitioner has been maintaining a healthy diet and finding creative ways to workout at home so when he makes his inevitable ONE Championship return, he will be in peak physical condition.
Although he may need to wait a little while to make his return to the global stage, the 31-year-old Ho Chi Minh City resident is already thinking about the athlete he wants to face the most and how to emerge victorious in his dream match.
The rising star talks about that, and he explains how he could defeat ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang “The Iron Man” Jitmuangnon, in this exclusive interview.
ONE Championship: With most gyms around the world closing their doors until the COVID-19 pandemic ends, how are you staying in shape?
Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat: I keep training a few hours in the morning and in the afternoon. My training right now is not as intense as a normal camp. I’ve been focusing mostly on speed and punching power.
I’m also lifting weights, doing push-ups and pull-ups, and being creative by working out with stairs, chairs, and tables. My daughter always joins me when she sees me training. She is so funny, so I cannot get bored at all!
ONE: Is it difficult maintaining your diet, though?
NTDN: I’m lucky I have my wife caring for my meals – she is the best nutritionist I ever had. She calculates every calorie in my meals and cooks them awesomely. I can promise that I won’t have a chubby belly when the quarantine is over. That’s important because I can’t wait to get my next fight as soon as possible.
ONE: Speaking of which, who would you ideally like to face next?
NTDN: I already have two knockout wins in ONE Championship. I know I’m close to the title shot. That is why if I have to pick a name, I will choose Rodtang Jitmuangnon – the reigning ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion – as my opponent. But I guess every fighter in the division would love to pick Rodtang as well.
I respect every fighter – being a fighter itself is a hard thing. It means he or she already trained hard, faced the pain in every training session, and has the deepest love for martial arts. I can always befriend [my opponent] at some point, but when I stand in the ring, the only thing I want to do is beat my opponent, get the win, and fulfill my dream of being the champion.
ONE: Why is Rodtang the perfect opponent for you and how would you anticipate the match going?
NTDN: In my imagination, my fight with Rodtang Jitmuangnon would be very interesting. Words to describe Rodtang should include something like “an iron body,” “a powerful left hand,” and “a diamond chin.”
Rodtang is young and powerful. He has the experience of a World Champion and the techniques of a Kru. Challenging a fighter like that would be fun. I would have to lean on my speed and fight smart to beat him.
ONE: How would you feel if you had to face someone else first?
NTDN: Being the champion is my dream, so I will fight anyone until I get a title shot.