ONE Championship has announced reigning featherweight champion Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen will defend his title against Japan’s Koyomi Matsushima.
The featherweight showdown has been added to ONE: Dawn of Heroes as the main event, which takes place at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila on Friday, 2 August.
The 30-year-old Nguyen has become one of the most prolific Asian martial arts talents over the past few years, winning eight of his last 10 contests.
In 2015, he embarked on an unprecedented six-bout winning streak. Along the way, he captured both the featherweight and lightweight world titles to become a two-division champion.
In September 2018 he vacated the lightweight belt, a move ONE said was due to injury. He returned to action against Narantungalag Jadambaa, delivering a flying knee knockout victory.
The 26-year-old Matsushima is one of the fastest rising martial artists from Japan. Hailing from Kanagawa prefecture located in the Kantō region of Japan, Matsushima has put together a handful of solid performances while competing in local Japanese martial arts promotions Pancrase and Shooto.
In his ONE Championship debut last September, Matsushima scored a first-round technical knockout victory over champion Marat Gafurov. Last month he dominated Korean featherweight Kwon Won Il to win by unanimous decision.
Now, Matsushima will challenge Nguyen for ONE’s featherweight belt.
ONE: Dawn of Heroes has shaped up as another tentpole event for ONE, with the flyweight world GP semi-final round to see Demetrious Johnson take on Tatsumitsu Wada of Japan.
Former UFC lightweight champion Eddie “The Underground King” Alvarez returns to face former ONE lightweight champion Eduard “Landslide” Folayang.
After a disappointing ONE Championship debut, Yushin Okami returns to face undefeated welterweight contender James Nakashima in Manila.