Interview with Featherweight prospect Martin Nguyen ahead of Brace 21

Martin Nguyen

Martin Nguyen is an undefeated 24 year old from the KMA Top Team Gym in Sydney’s western suburbs. Born in Sydney, to parents who escaped to Australia from an Indonesian concentration camp, Martin found Martial Arts at the relatively late age of 21.

“At first I didn’t want to start any contact Martial Arts or sports due to recurring injuries I had suffered in my early teen years but after long convincing from a good friend, I had decided to take a BJJ class at KMA Liverpool under Master Fari and I’ve been hooked ever since.”

Athletic from an early age, Martin made a promising start in Rugby League as a teenager, however ongoing injuries forced him to hang up his boots prematurely.

“Growing up I was pretty athletic. The main sport I played was Rugby League, even making Reps at the age of 16. After coming off some serious injuries I had decided to give it up and start pumping iron instead. Haha”

After building a 4-0 record as an amateur, he made his professional and promotional debut at Brace 18 in Canberra against Thomas Ruderman. The win came in the second round for Martin, who explains the victory was his sweetest to date.

“The most satisfying victory I’ve had was against a very respected BJJ practitioner Thomas Ruderman. Both of us, making our debut featherweight match, had something to prove. Throughout camp, I worked on all my pros and cons (fitness and conditioning). Basically it was a make or break fight. After my victory against Ruderman it was kind of a bittersweet feeling as I knew I had proceeded to the next of many levels in OZMMA.”

A telling factor in the victory was his ability to utilise his wrestling to take Ruderman to the canvas repeatedly.
Nguyen vs Ruderman

“I’d say I’m becoming more of an all round fighter now but I always have a sweet spot for my ground and pound. Having wrestling as my main genre, I like to always shoot and test my opponents on the ground. “

The win over Ruderman wasn’t the first where Martin’s wrestling played a predominant role.  In just his third bout, he headlined Cage Conquest 1 against the more experienced Richard Kemp-Hay, who was also the hometown favorite on the night. Martin was forced back to his bread and butter in the fight, which he admits was his toughest to date.

“It was such a tough fight as my cardio was the problem that really let me down in that fight. After throwing 90% of punches and kicks in the first & second round I was GASSED!!!!! Richard came out in the third looking fresh as hell hahaha. Luckily for my wrestling I was able to take him down and secure a rear naked choke midway in third round.”

Martin’s next fight will be against the Central Coast’s Jamie Mullarkey at Brace 21 in Sydney on July 20. Mullarkey is a Pankration world champion, and like Martin, is an undefeated prospect in the sport. 

“To be honest, I know little about my opponent. Word around I hear is that he is a world (literally) champion for Pankration fighting. Much respect for him but I know that this is my time to shine and he is blocking my light to success.”

Surrounded by some of the top coaches and fighters in the country, including Brace Welterweight champion Corey Nelson, Martin has a plethora of experience and support on hand, ahead of what is shaping up to be his biggest test to date.

KMA Top Team

“Training camp is going very well. Everyone at KMA Top Team has stepped it up another gear and training has become a lot harder. Corey Nelson, who is in his final stages of camp is one of the many names that have been helping me with training. I’m very blessed to be apart of such an amazing team.

“I can speak on behalf of most KMA boys (the most challenging aspects of training) is trying to keep up with Corey Nelson’s athleticism. The way he trains pushes us to another level that makes me want to puke after every session. Good feeling.”

Outside of the gym, and Mixed Martial Arts altogether, Martin reveals that family plays a major inspirational role in his life.

“I like to surround myself with FOOD & my family. I spend as much time with my kiddies as possible. I also like to sleep in hahaha.

“The true hero I have always looked up to is my father. The people who are inspiring today are my family. They always make me feel better than the person I was yesterday. True family love.”

As far as his near future is concerned, Martin is taking things one fight at time, as for the long term however, he reveals a common dream shared among many up and coming MMA fighters.

“At the moment with my MMA career I like to take it as it comes. No short term goals at the moment but will definitely like to fight overseas to test my abilities. Every MMA fighter’s dream is to make the big time (UFC), I guess I wouldn’t mind doing that too.”

Brace 21 will take place at the Norths Leagues Club in Cammeray, NSW on Saturday July 20.

Martin would like to thank: Master Fari and Miss Katheryn, my wife and kids for putting up with my mood swings, my familia (KMA Family) for pushing me beyond my limits, my Sponsors – Monsta Supplements for supporting & refueling me with the best Supplements ( , Adam Washbourne and the FACAA Family. I LOVE YOU ALL. Like my facebook fan page and the KMA page

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