Garry Tonon likely to make MMA return against Martin Nguyen

Jiu jitsu world noticed that Garry Tonon was absent from the ADCC East Coast trials and they’re speculating this is likely due to his focus being on MMA.

Former champion Martin Nguyen and former title challenger Garry Tonon have expressed their eagerness to face off inside the ONE Championship Circle. Their wish may be coming true as ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong hinted at the potential showdown.

The featherweight MMA division is heating up, with Thanh Le’s spectacular 62-second heel hook victory over Ilya Freymanov at ONE Fight Night 15 in Bangkok earlier this month. This victory sets the stage for a future title unification bout against divisional champion Tang Kai.

However, the stakes may be even higher for the winner of that battle. Chatri Sityodtong, Chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, is showing a keen interest in the idea of pitting the No. 1 ranked fighter, Garry Tonon, against the No. 3 contender, Martin Nguyen. Sityodtong sees this potential matchup as an electrifying spectacle for fans and a significant stepping stone toward earning a title shot.

β€œYes, I like that fight a lot – a super fun fight for the fans and one that could lead to a title shot,” Chatri told the SCMP last week.

Martin Nguyen, with a record of 15-6, and Garry Tonon, holding an 8-1 record, have been openly challenging each other on social media recently. “Yo @garrytonon – are we doing this or what?” Nguyen asked in an Instagram post. “The division is finally gaining momentum, and we better ride it or we’ll get left behind.”

Tonon responded with anticipation in the comments, saying, “Waiting for the call. They tried to get me someone else, and I declined and told them I’m fighting Martin next.”

The 34-year-old “Situ-Asian” Nguyen hinted at the possibility of their fight taking place in Tokyo, aligning with ONE’s expected return to the Japanese capital in late January. “It must happen. Let’s start the year with a bang,” Nguyen said, adding an emoji of the Japanese flag.

Meanwhile, the 32-year-old “Lion Killer” Tonon sought the support of his fans in a post, saying, “Who wants to see Martin try to hit my bald spots with overhand rights? Let @onechampionship know. The two of us are trying to find out who gets a shot at the belt and who gets a free ride on a stretcher; help us get it rolling.”