SAIGON TIMES: ONE Championship fighters pumped ahead of Vietnam debut


Vietnamese-American Bi Nguyen, left, takes on India’s Puja Tomar at ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH Friday night in Ho Chi Minh City. PHOTO: ONE CHAMPIONSHIP

By Harry Hodge

“Let’s get ready to rrrrrrrrrrrrrrumble!”

While professional fight announcer Michael Buffer may not be in town, all other things combat-related will be in the spotlight this Friday in Ho Chi Minh City. Professional fighting promotion ONE Championship (ONE), recently held an open workout at the Hotel Nikko Saigon earlier this week, just days before ONE Championship’s inaugural IMMORTAL TRIUMPH event at Phu Tho Stadium. 

“I’m excited to compete in ONE Super Series,” said Vietnamese-American star Bi Nguyen, known for her appearance on the hit series “Survivor” as well as her prowess in the ring, and faces India’s Puja Tomar this Friday in Muay Thai. “This organization has so much talent, and the opportunities for athletes are endless. One of the biggest reasons why I love being in ONE Championship is because I can fully test my abilities in all areas of fighting. I expect a great performance for the both of us, and the fans happy with the action they get to see. I’m definitely going for the finish if it presents itself!” 

Besides Nguyen, Vietnamese athletes Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat and Nguyen Thanh Tung, as well as Vietnamese-English striker Michael “The Beast from the East” Pham and Vietnamese-Australian Chris Nguyen were also in attendance to promote this debut fight card in the nation’s biggest city. While competitors such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) focus on the promotion of their mixed martial arts (MMA) events, the ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH card will feature single-discipline bouts. Karate will not co-mingle with grappling, and so on. 

“I am so happy and thankful that ONE Championship has finally come to Vietnam, my beloved home country,” said Vietnamese competitor Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat. “For the past few years, it has been my dream to compete in front of my friends and family here in Ho Chi Minh City. I’m laser focused in putting together the best performance of my career this Friday. Hopefully the fans come out and we can rock the stadium.”

Featured bouts include: Nong-O Gaiyanghadao vs. Brice Delval (ONE Super Series Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship); Saemapetch Fairtex vs. Rafi Bohic (ONE Super Series Muay Thai – bantamweight); Thanonchai SomawangGaiyang vs. Kohei “Momotaro” Kodera (ONE Super Series Muay Thai – flyweight); Amber Kitchen vs. Viktoria Lipianska (ONE Super Series Muay Thai – women’s strawweight); Panpayak Jitmuangnon vs. Masahide Kudo (ONE Super Series kickboxing – flyweight); Michael Pham vs. Mohamad Fakri Bin Yusoff (ONE Super Series Muay Thai – featherweight); Nguyen Tran Duy Nhat vs. Azwan Che Wil (Vietnamese Super Series – flyweight); Nguyen Thanh Tung vs. Shahzaib Rindh (Vietnamese Super Series – featherweight) and more.

ONE Championship (ONE) is the largest global sports media property in Asian history, hosting bouts across all styles of martial arts such as Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Karate, Kung Fu, Silat, Sanda, Lethwei, Mixed Martial Arts, Tae Kwon Do, Submission Grappling, and more. 

Ticket information for ONE: IMMORTAL TRIUMPH is available at For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at

About hodgedude

I'm a Canadian journalist and teacher, most recently living in Edmonton and Toronto, now located in Ho Chi Minh City. Graduate of Concordia University in Montreal. I've taught English in S. Korea, pulled rickshaws in Canada, taught at a Taiwanese language boot camp, edited newspapers in China and played a French-speaking Spanish colonel on Vietnamese TV. I also play Australian football. Pick up a copy of issue one of my independent comic, "Getting Lucky," at Happy Harbor Comics in Edmonton, the Comic Hunter in Moncton, New Brunswick, and the Spotted Cow Pub, 111 Bui Vien, District 1, Saigon.
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