Martin Nguyen, ONE Championship
Martin Nguyen reacts after his ONE Fight Night 7 bout against Leonardo Casotti on February 25, 2023. ONE Championship


  • Martin Nguyen credits Leonardo Casotti's ability to hang with him for three rounds
  • Casotti was a last-minute replacement after Nguyen's original foes withdrew
  • Nguyen believes he is just one win away from challenging Tang Kai for the ONE featherweight title

Martin Nguyen brought his name back into the winner's circle after pulling off an impressive victory over last-minute foe and newcomer Leonardo Casotti at ONE Fight Night 7.

Speaking to the media following his win, Nguyen explained that Casotti being able to take his shots while also returning fire back at him was an unforeseen development.

"I was surprised, but at the same time, I didn't want to get too reckless and get caught myself. So, I knew I hurt him a few times, but I didn't want to go guns blazing and put on a show but also lose a fight. That's not my style. I know I'm here to win every single fight," Nguyen stated.

"The Situ-Asian" and Casotti were more than happy to stand in the pocket and trade shots with one another as both men had their shining moments, but Nguyen's versatility was simply too much to overcome.

Peppering Casotti with leg kicks and slick combinations, Nguyen banked on his experience to pull out the unanimous decision victory against a very game opponent.

It should be noted that Casotti's debut under ONE Championship only happened because Shamil Gasanov, the No. 5-ranked featherweight, had to withdraw due to an illness.

Meanwhile, backup opponent Razhab Shaydullaev pulled out due to an undisclosed reason.

Casotti was already scheduled to fight at ONE Friday Fight 6, a day before ONE Fight Night 7, and while lesser men would be caught by surprise because of so many changes happening during fight week itself, Nguyen had to figure out a game plan during the fight.

"I want to try to finish my opponents as much as possible and finish fights in general, but I had a tough opponent, and I had to ride it out and figure out his weaknesses as I go because we only had two days to prep for him," Nguyen later said.

The No. 3-rated featherweight has been eyeing his return to the top of the division as he seeks to return to champ status after being the first-ever two-division champion in the Singapore-based combat sports promotion.

Regarding who he wants to fight next, Nguyen pointed out that he plans to take on Gasanov, his original opponent for ONE Fight Night 7, and American grappling wizard Garry Tonon.

He believes a win against either man could possibly catapult him to No. 1 contender status for Tang Kai's featherweight title.

Martin Nguyen, ONE Championship
Martin Nguyen lands a hard overhand right on Leonardo Casotti during their bout at ONE Fight Night 7 in Bangkok, Thailand on February 25, 2023. ONE Championship