After knocking out Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen last October, Thanh Le became ONE Championship’s new featherweight king and started his reign over the stacked division.
Le knows there are many dangerous contenders in the weight class who are eager to knock him off the throne, but that doesn’t faze the Vietnamese-American one bit.
In fact, the 35-year-old Louisiana resident is motivated to test himself and defend the gold against the division’s most elite challengers.
As he gears up for his first ONE Featherweight World Title defense later this year, Le shares his thoughts on the top five featherweight mixed martial arts contenders.
#1-Ranked Contender: Martin Nguyen
Thanh Le: I had a great fight with him. I’d love to have a rematch. Excellent competitor. I’m excited to watch him fight. He’s supposed to have a fight coming up soon, and two of them, I think, got canceled ‘cause of COVID reasons. We had a few rounds of a nice battle and maybe we do it again sometime soon.
#2-Ranked Contender: Christian Lee
TL: Possible future opponent. We’d like to work toward that matchup. Double-champ for one of us is always appealing. I know ONE just posted something recently kind of teasing that a little bit, so maybe that’s something that can happen in the near future and that’s always an exciting matchup.
Christian is a game opponent, exciting to watch, dangerous, and young. He’s got so much growing to do, so it’s a cool matchup. And hearing him, Eddie [Alvarez], and all of them go back and forth is cool to watch from the sidelines, too.
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#3-Ranked Contender: Garry Tonon
TL: Garry is a super dangerous grappler, obviously. [He is] relatively new to the rankings. He had a good match with [Koyomi] Matsushima that went the distance, and I think he’ll earn a title shot soon. Maybe one or two more fights, and I think he’ll definitely be on the hit list.
#4-Ranked Contender: Koyomi Matsushima
TL: Tough guy. Great fights good competitor. I like his style. You know, hopefully, he works his way back up because when I saw him fight Martin, and when I saw him fight Garry, it was somebody that looked like they presented a problem.
He’s definitely a game fighter, he’s got some skills that are very dangerous, so I look forward to hopefully getting into the cage with him. He seems like he’s going to have to have a few fights to work his way back up, though.
#5-Ranked Contender: Kim Jae Woong
TL: I’m pretty sure that’s who Martin was kind of teed up to fight, and that got canceled once, possibly twice. I don’t know a ton about him, but I have seen some highlights, and obviously, he’s a heavy hitter.
Him and Martin would be a killer fight to watch. It would be a very exciting fight to watch, so if that gets scheduled, you guys [should] tune in for that. Definitely a killer, definitely deserves to be in the top five. That’s another definite, possible, exciting matchup for me as well.
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