The moment Thanh Le has been waiting his entire life and career for has finally arrived.
Le is scheduled to challenge Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen for the ONE Featherweight World Championship at ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore on Friday, 30 October.
The Vietnamese-American martial arts athlete and No. 3 ranked featherweight contender believes he’s gotten even better during the past few months he spent in isolation, training at home in New Orleans due to restrictions brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to do what I love against one of the best fighters in the world. I’m excited to show the world who I am once again, and grateful for the chance to make my family proud,” said Le.
“The only thing the pandemic did for my life and career was give me more time to get even better. I feel like I’ve gotten extra time to focus on skill sets that I didn’t have time to grow while being in back-to-back camps. This gave me the time to add and improve more than ever. It’s made me very dangerous.”
Oozing with confidence, Le says he’s prepared himself for whatever the champion brings to the table, following one of the best training camps of his career. The 35-year-old boxing and taekwondo stylist believes he is better than Nguyen in all aspects of the game, and that he’s ready to shock the world.
“Martin has been a great champion, to say the least. But I think he’s limited in this fight because of the skill set difference between us. He does a great job of creating opportunities so he can fit in his heavy shots, and he baits things for his traps. He also does a good job of taking advantage of his opponent’s lack of discipline when things get heated because of his experience level,” said Le
“I do all of those things, just better than he does. Plus my movement adds a level of complication that he will not be able to keep up with,” he added.
“I’ve worked my whole life to become the best martial artist I could possibly be. That is what has made me focus on my weaknesses and the holes in my game. I’m getting closer and closer everyday to plugging every single little hole. I just don’t think he is as complete of a martial artist as I am, and will be unable to keep the action in the arenas where he can win the fight.”
Taking on Nguyen, who is a fellow Vietnamese martial artist by way of Australia, Le says this championship bout carries heavy significance for Vietnam, if only for the attention it will bring to the country after major strides were made recently in regulating the sport of mixed martial arts.
“I think having this Vietnamese championship fight can do nothing but good for the sport. I think everybody wins in this situation – the fans, because of the stylistic matchup, the Vietnamese people, because of the exposure and the newly-passed laws to allow MMA into the country. The promotion also wins when the fans win,” said Le.
ONE Championship returns on Friday, 30 October with ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX, broadcast live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore.
In the main event, reigning ONE Middleweight and Light Heavyweight World Champion “The Burmese Python” Aung La N Sang of Myanmar defends his middleweight title against top contender Reinier “The Dutch Knight” de Ridder of The Netherlands.
The Nguyen versus Le bout serves as the evening’s co-main event, and is one of four World Title contests scheduled in a single night of action. Le says he is all but ready to step inside the Circle and seize the exact moment he’s been waiting for since he first started his martial arts journey.
“This would be a huge step in my career. The reason I started fighting was to become the best I could be, and this is a great measuring stick for me and my goals,” said Le.
“The gold belt means nothing to me. Beating someone who is recognized as one of the best featherweights in the world, that to me means everything. It’s what I’ve dedicated, literally, my entire life to. This would be a great milestone to the rest of what I’m going to create as my legacy in the martial arts world.”
Catch ONE: INSIDE THE MATRIX on 30 October at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The blockbuster event will feature four World Title bouts between the promotion’s most exciting stars.
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