Martin Nguyen couldn't pass up fighting 'friend' Eduard Folayang
"Weíre martial artists at the end of the day, and weíre here to entertain you guys as a crowd. Letís put on an entertaining fight, thatís what we came to agree." - Martin Nguyen (Photo courtesy of ONE Championship)
It didn't take long for Martin Nguyen to get another assignment after dethroning long-time featherweight champion Marat Gafurov in Kuala Lumpur last August.
The newly-crowned ONE Championship featherweight king got the call for a champion-versus-champion superfight, the first in the history of the promotion.
On November 10 in Manila, Nguyen challenges Eduard Folayang for the ONE Championship lightweight belt.
"Opportunities like this don’t come too often, and I had to jump on it." the Australian said during the media faceoff in Manila, Tuesday afternoon.
Apart from challenging the champ, Nguyen will be going up against someone who he says he has nothing but respect for.
"I like Eduard, he’s my friend. We spent some time together in LA." Nguyen said. The 28-year old also shared that after getting the call, he reached out to Folayang on Facebook and made an agreement with the champ.
"I messaged him on Facebook and we both came to an agreement where we put our friendship aside and make it strictly business. We’re martial artists at the end of the day, and we’re here to entertain you guys as a crowd. Let’s put on an entertaining fight, that’s what we came to agree."
Pre-fight animosity is commonplace in the world of combat sports, being that it's easier to get in the cage and try to take the head off of someone you don't particulary like.
For Nguyen, there will be no such ill-will towards Folayang, who he says he has a lot of respect for.
"We respect each other as martial artists, there’s no trash talk, there’s no pushing or shoving, it’s a pure friendship, pure, real mixed martial arts adventure we’re experiencing together."
Eduard Folayang defends his ONE Championship lightweight world title against reignign ONE Championship featherweight world champion Martin Nguyen in the main event of ONE: Legends of the World on Friday, November 10th at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Catch the action LIVE on S+A channel 23!