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Martin Nguyen wins ONE Championship featherweight title with faceplant KO of Marat Gafurov

Facing the biggest test of his young MMA career, Martin Nguyen didn’t, ahem, choke.

On Friday, “The Situ-Asian” challenged featherweight titleholder Marat Gafurov in the main event of ONE Championship 59 at the Stadium Negara in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, and he dethroned the undefeated fighter in spectacular fashion with a thudding second-round knockout.

Gafurov’s last seven wins came by way of rear-naked choke and it looked like it would be business as usual for the 32-year-old Russian, as he hurt Nguyen in round one and looked to take his back to go for his signature finish. Instead, Nguyen was able to power out of the dangerous predicament and make it to the second round.

It was in round two that Nguyen would land the perfect counter right hand that sent Gafurov crashing to the mat. A few follow-up punches later and Nguyen was the new king of ONE Championship’s 145-lb division. The Australian has now won nine of his 10 professional bouts, with his only loss coming to Gafurov when they first fought back in September 2015 for an interim belt.

Gafurov falls to 15-1 after failing to record a third consecutive title defense.

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