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“A World-Class Striker” – Martin Nguyen Favors Danial Williams Over Jonathan Di Bella To Win the One Strawweight Kickboxing World Title

Published 09/04/2023, 2:47 AM EDT

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Former two-division ONE World Champion Martin Nguyen will cheer his compatriot to bring gold back to “The Land Down Under” at ONE Fight Night 15: Tawanchai vs. Superbon.

Aussie-Thai striker Danial Williams will challenge Jonathan Di Bella for the ONE Strawweight Kickboxing World Championship at the October 6 event, which is set to go down inside the iconic halls of the Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

Martin Nguyen picking Danial Williams to win ONE strawweight kickboxing world title 

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Di Bella took the coveted prize in his promotional debut, stopping the meteoric rise of Chinese striking phenom Zhang Peimian at ONE 162 in October 2022. The Canadian-Italian slugger has been eager to face his first challenger since, and he’ll get his chance to cement his dominance in the division against a stalwart adversary. Williams always brings the hurt despite slipping to defeat in his last two outings in ONE. Nguyen would have liked to have seen him fight for the strawweight strap off a win, but he doesn’t fault him for taking this massive opportunity presented to him.

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“It’s a very tough fight. Jonathan’s been out [since winning the belt last year], but he is a world-class striker. I would have liked ‘Mini T’ to get a win before facing him,” he said in an interview with ONE. “But man, it’s just an opportunity of a lifetime that you can’t say no to. So he took it with both hands, and I really, really hope he’s preparing well for this one.” The three-sport star made a mark in the world’s largest martial arts organization when he went toe-to-toe with flyweight Muay Thai king Rodtang Jitmuangnon in his ONE debut.

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He then turned his attention to mixed martial arts, where he collected a 3-1 record last year. Williams shifted his focus to kickboxing this past March, and he challenged flyweight kickboxing king Superlek Kiatmoo9 on short notice. While he didn’t get the desired result, Nguyen believes it doesn’t change the fact that the Kao Sok Muay Thai product belongs in the World Title picture. ‘Mini T’ is a world-class striker,” he said. “The only thing was the weight class that really made a difference. He was small compared to Superlek, and you could actually physically see it too.”

Williams has some serious experience, but Di Bella is no cakewalk

Having gone the distance with Rodtang and tested Superlek’s skills, Williams now has a prime opportunity to capture a belt at his natural weight. It won’t be easy, though, as Di Bella has a significant advantage of height and reach over fighters in the division.

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Still, “The Situ-Asian” will be rooting for his countryman, and he is hoping that this will be his crowning moment. “I’m going for ‘Mini T’ because we’re Australian, and we always support our own. I really hope he gives the fight of his life and pulls it off because he needs this win,” Nguyen said.

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Written by:

Aditya Vaibhav

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Aditya Vaibhav is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. He discovered MMA in the year 2009 after watching Chuck Liddell on Spike TV’s Deadliest Warrior, at the age of 10. A follower of combat sports, Aditya uses writing as a medium to actively participate in the domain he is so passionate about.
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Edited by:

Rupkamal Sarma