The two martial artists are wrapping up their preparations and getting ready to ascend the ONE Championship cage this weekend, and Bangkok is pulsating with excitement. Also on the card are local stars Shannon Wiratchai and Rika Ishige, as well as Muay Thai legend Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke.
Nguyen and Fernandes recently spoke to media ahead of their monumental clash this Saturday, and here’s what they had to say.
“I feel incredibly honored to be given the chance to show what I can do inside the cage, in front of millions of fans who believe in me and support me. It’s an overwhelming feeling. Bibiano Fernandes is an absolute legend in martial arts, and considered one of the best bantamweights in the world, and it is an honor for me to test myself against him.”
“I’m working round the clock to give the performance of a lifetime. All my matches ended within the distance, and I plan to end this one early too. I’m definitely looking to finish. I know Bibiano will be the best opponent I have ever faced, but I’m going to go in there and do my thing. I think I can catch him late and my youth and athleticism will be too much. It’s time to make history again.”
“Competing in Bangkok is a privilege. Thailand is such a beautiful country. I can’t wait to showcase my skills to fans in Thailand. There are a ton of Muay Thai legends in Thailand and martial arts owes a great deal to the country. I am proud to be among those legends. This event is historic and the biggest night of my career.”
“I’m not just competing for the belt anymore, to me, it’s all about challenges now. I want to challenge myself and see how far my skills have progressed. Martin Nguyen is a great challenge for me, one of the biggest of my career. Everyone is talking about his power and how he’s going to know me out. I would like to see if he can. When he won the featherweight and lightweight world titles, it’s was definitely impressive. But this is my division. He’s coming into my territory and I will defend it. This challenge really motivates me to be at my best.”
“I know he has a powerful right hand and a good left hook, so I’m excited to experience them. I’ve studied him and I understand his movements. I’ve seen it all before in my career. Everyone says he is going to knock me out, but we’ll see. I have been training very hard each day. I don’t go out, I don’t party. I’m a family man. I get up in the morning, train, rest, spend some time with my family, and then train some more. This is my life. I have complete focus on preparing for this bout.”
“I am thankful for the opportunities ONE Championship has given me to see the world, travel all across Asia and now to perform in Thailand, it’s my honor. This is going to be one of the biggest events in the history of martial arts in Asia, and I plan to be on the winning end of it. I will do everything I can to keep the belt and give the best performance of my life.”