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Kim Jae Woong ready to face Thanh Le or Garry Tonon for featherweight title

Kim Jae Woong (left), Thanh Le (right)
Kim Jae Woong (left), Thanh Le (right)
Atilano Diaz

No.5-ranked featherweight contender, ‘The Fighting God’ Kim Jae Woong, put together arguably his most remarkable performance in ONE Championship yet.

The 28-year-old from South Korea recorded a scintillating first-round knockout of former two-division champion Martin ‘The Situ-Asian’ Nguyen at ONE: Revolution last Friday, September 24, in Singapore.

The two knockout artists locked horns in a featherweight title eliminator. Kim Jae Woong was able to land the fight-ending blow first, sending Martin Nguyen into the astral plane with a straight right hand down the middle.

Needless to say, Kim Jae Woong is thrilled with his performance. He said that the win made him feel like he succeeded in something for the first time in his life. When asked how the knockout came about, Woong recounted how he prepared to fight Martin Nguyen in training camp and how he envisioned stopping him.

“I actually trained a lot on my reaction [timing], so whenever I saw my opponent’s left shoulder move, I trained so hard that my body automatically countered that and that’s exactly what happened. I just saw Martin’s left shoulder move and I didn’t even go for that knockout. My body just moved automatically. When I saw his body go down, I just automatically thought to myself, ‘Oh, I have to finish this and then that’s what happened.’ ”

Kim Jae Woong gets next shot at featherweight title

Up next for Kim Jae Woong is a date with destiny. His fight with Martin Nguyen was a title eliminator, so he’s up next to challenge for the featherweight throne.

Reigning ONE featherweight world champion Thanh Le will defend his title against No.3-ranked Garry Tonon later this year. The fight will take place at the promotion’s highly-anticipated 10th anniversary show dubbed ONE X.

Kim Jae Woong believes he has earned the right to face the champion, whoever that may be in a couple of months.

Right now, what’s next for me is Thanh Le because Thanh Le is the champion right now. Of course, I’m ready for it but I know that Thanh Le is fighting against Garry Tonon in December and nobody knows what’s going to happen there. So if ever Garry Tonon wins that fight, I’ll be ready for Garry Tonon. If Thanh Le defends the belt, I’ll be ready for Thanh Le. I believe I deserve the next title shot for sure because Martin Nguyen is a legend. He has so many records in ONE Championship and he’s also a two-division world-champion here. If you saw my performance today, nobody knocked down Martin Nguyen like that in the first round, only me. I believe that I’m the clear next challenger.”

Watch Kim Jae Woong vs. Martin Nguyen below:

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Edited by Avinash Tewari

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