Sacrifice means to give up something cherished in order to get something even more valuable in the future. This concept also applies to mixed martial arts (MMA) as the path to becoming a world champion is paved with much sacrifice.
To set foot on the pinnacle of success, all fighters must go through blood, sweat and tears in training. Moreover, MMA athletes have to be separated from their families for months to dedicate their lives to the craft that they seek to perfect.
Australian standout Martin Nguyen (7-1) had to undergo the same process as he is slated to square off with former featherweight title contender Kazunori Yokota (25-6-3) in the co-headliner of ONE: QUEST FOR POWER on 14 January.
“The life of a fighter is difficult, but I understand that in order to be the best, fighters have to make certain sacrifices. Spending time away from friends and family to train isn’t easy,” Nguyen said.
For his high-profile bout against Yokota, Nguyen had to give up spending Christmas and the rest of the Yuletide season with his family to fully focus on his training.
Nguyen admitted the most painful sacrifice is the separation from his family, but he knows that there is a reward waiting for him.
“It’s part of being a professional fighter. A lot of sacrifices have been made. Training in December is one of them. I have to give up Christmas celebrations for this fight,” he stated.
“If I want to consider myself as a championship-quality fighter, I have to make that sacrifice. In the end, I will reap the fruits of my labor. Hard work cannot be denied forever,” Nguyen added.
The 27-year-old Australian prospect believes that a win over Yokota will earn him a date with Marat Gafurov for the ONE Featherweight World Championship belt.
“I think a win over Yokota should solidify my position for a title shot. To clarify, I am not in a hurry. I will let my bosses decide because they have the final say for that matter. If they will give me a shot at the ONE Featherweight World Championship title, I am ready to suit up,” Nguyen declared.
Both men are no strangers to Gafurov. Nguyen fell short to the highly-touted Russian combatant for the interim title in September 2015, while Yokota unsuccessfully challenged Gafurov this past May.
Nguyen sees himself in a must-win scenario as the winner of the marquee match-up might get a rematch with Gafurov in 2017.
“My mindset is the same every fight. Everyone is a title challenger, and everyone is capable of becoming a champion. It’s just a matter of who wants it more. I’m ready to put everything on the line to win this fight,” he said.
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About ONE Championship™
ONE Championship is the largest sports media property in Asian history. Headquartered in Singapore, the world’s most exciting mixed martial arts organization hosts the largest sports entertainment events across Asia featuring the best Asian mixed martial artists and world champions, all signed to exclusive contracts, on the largest media broadcast in Asia. ONE Championship is broadcast to over 1 billion viewers across 118+ countries around the world with some of the largest global broadcasters, including FOX Sports, Setanta, MNC, Astro, Thairath TV, ABS-CBN, TV5, MYTV, HTV, Esporte Interativo and more.
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