FEW debutants in ONE Championship shocked the martial arts world the way Koyomi “Moushigo” Matsushima did when he first arrived at The Home of Martial Arts in 2018.
The Shooto Welterweight Tournament Champion competed against former World Champion Marat “Cobra” Gafurov. Despite the odds stacked against Matsushima, the athlete handed the Russian grappling phenom his fastest career defeat.
It was an incredible success story, but the Japanese star promises fireworks again when he takes on Martin “The Situ-Asian” Nguyen for the ONE Featherweight World Title in the main event of ONE: DAWN OF HEROES on Friday, 2 August.
“I feel myself getting better every day that I train,” Matsushima said. “I do think that I’m a lot stronger than I was a year ago.”
But the Japanese athlete revealed that there is much more room for growth in his mixed martial arts path.
“I still think I have a long way to go. I don’t think I’ve achieved my maximum potential yet. I know I’ll continue to get stronger. Of course, I hope to get even stronger before the upcoming fight.”
“Moushigo” had his eyes on Nguyen from the moment he signed with ONE.
Nguyen, whose roots lie in Vietnam and Australia, boasts one of the most phenomenal records. He has defeated the likes of Edward Kelly, Christian Lee, Marat Gafurov, and Eduard Folayang.
Alongside his comprehensive knowledge in martial arts, Nguyen owns one of the heaviest right hands in ONE.
Matsushima only wants to face the best, and Nguyen is arguably one of the best. The Japanese athlete’s time will come inside the spectacular walls of the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
“[Nguyen’s] dominated in two weight classes, and he’s fought for the title in the weight class below,” the Yokohama native said. “He’s an all-rounder with not many weaknesses.”
“The first ONE fight I saw live was Nguyen vs. Christian Lee in Singapore. When I got the contract, I knew I had to get here somehow. I’m finally here, and I finally get to compete against this opponent.”
Ahead of what could be the biggest test of his career, the 26-year-old kyokushin karate black belt remained calm.
In a humble tone, the Pancrase ISM Yokohama athlete sent out a message to his adversary in Manila on 2 August.
“Please get [the ONE Championship belt] ready to hand over to me.”