ONE Championship is set for their biggest event of the year as ONE Championship: Inside the Matrix is set to take place Friday, October 30, 2020, from the Singapore Indoor Stadium located in Kallang, Singapore. The six-fight card will contain four title fights including Martin Nguyen defending his featherweight title against his toughest task to date, New Orleans’ own Thanh Le.
Road to The Ultimate Fighter 22
New Orleans’ own Thanh Le began his journey to this point in his career in November 2013 where he took on his first professional bout. After dropping his debut bout, Le went on to win his next four in a row in the first round, three of those by knockout. One of those knockouts was over current Karate Combat champion Josh Quayhagen. After a couple of canceled bouts on the regional scene, Le joined the cast of The Ultimate Fighter 22, which saw Team McGregor vs Team Faber. Le won a bout by knockout before being eliminated from the show.
“Honestly, that was my first experience with high-level athletes and coaches that have competed in the UFC. It was a huge confidence boost. Up until that point I was fighting regionally and doing really well, but I didn’t know if I belonged with the best in the world,” Le told MyMMANews. “I took away a ton of confidence and familiarity with ‘big show’ type surroundings; cameras, lights, empty arena, etc.”
March Toward ONE Championship
After his time learning on The Ultimate Fighter, Le returned to the regional scene scoring a 40-second knockout. About eight months later, Le joined Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) and earned another first-round knockout. The February 2017 knockout at LFA earned Le a shot again in the UFC, this time on the Dana White’s Contender Series. Le continued his knockout ways, earning a knockout on the same show as Sean O’Malley. After splitting his next two bouts in LFA, Le finally joined ONE Championship.
ONE Championship is slowly making a name for itself in the United States, with already such a huge name in the Thailand area of the world. “Man, every fight is its own adventure. It’s been great to be able to bring my family and friends on these trips with me to go do what I’m so grateful and thankful to be doing for a job,” Le stated.
“You’re right, one doesn’t get the love they deserve at home. I think we’re on the way to bringing that fan base more and more exposure to this great company, but it’s insane how many people don’t know about ONE Championship. I think if our fans at home just get a little exposure to ONE, they’ll fall in love immediately, like I did. Their focus on the martial arts, honor, respect, etc. is a sigh of relief and fresh air in the pro wrestling atmosphere MMA has at home.”
Gold Within Arms’ Reach
4:31…That’s how long Le has been inside a ONE ring throughout his three bouts. All three of those bouts have also ended by first-round knockout in Le’s favor. Le came into ONE with his best stuff, earning a knockout of the year type knee, which flattened Yusup Saadulaev. His next two bouts have also ended in devastating fashion, which is what puts him in this title bout with Martin Nguyen for the featherweight title.
“Well, Martin is a great champ and an excellent fighter, He’s not going to give up his belt without a hell of a fight. He’s got knockout power and great timing. I’ve got those same things plus so much more that no one has ever seen. So it’s going to be full blown fireworks in there,” Le stated. “I think you’ll see a lot of reads, adjustments, and high level games stacked on top of one another that most people won’t even appreciate. The matchup makes for an insane fight for the fans… someone is going to sleep, and I’ll do everything in my power to make sure it isn’t me.”
I am a life-long MMA fan who has been a fan since UFC 1. I was born in Illinois but raised in South Louisiana, home of many great mixed martial artists. I started martial arts at the age of 4 and continued into my adult years where I served nearly 10 years in law enforcement. I feel my job is to convey the stories of the MMA fighters we enjoy to watch and share their stories with the world.
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