Andy Nguyen is not looking for any undue credit. In her mind, she was just doing what she had to do for a close friend in a scary situation.
Nguyen was the key witness that led to the Shreveport (La.) Police Department issuing an arrest warrant for Donny Aaron, the husband of UFC fighter Andrea Lee, in relation to an alleged domestic abuse incident in August.
Nguyen, a fellow MMA fighter, lived with Lee and Aaron for about three years. She and Lee both left following the incident on the weekend of Aug. 4. Nguyen told police that Aaron tried to burn Lee’s arm and body with a cigarette, chased her and attempted to choke her during a heated argument at their home.
“It wasn’t an easy thing to do,” Nguyen told MMA Fighting. “Donny was my friend, too. I don’t need an award, I don’t need anything like that. I just knew in my heart what was right, what was wrong.”
The Shreveport PD issued an arrest warrant for Aaron on Aug. 20 on counts of domestic abuse battery and false imprisonment. Nguyen told police that Aaron also would not let Lee leave the house that same week, preventing her from going to training. Aaron, who has a long rap sheet and made headlines for Nazi tattoos earlier this year, is still being sought by Shreveport police, a spokesperson said Thursday.
Nguyen, meanwhile, had to leave Louisiana as she was heading into her own training camp. Nguyen will face Miyuu Yamamoto at Rizin 13 this weekend in Japan. She said despite everything that has happened — and some of the vitriol she received on social media — she is completely focused on her bout. The positive has far outweighed the negative, she said.
“Everybody across the nation contacted me and Andrea to welcome us with open arms to their gym,” Nguyen said. “Everybody did.”
Since the alleged incident, Nguyen said Lee’s parents reached out to her and thanked her for speaking up. Nguyen told police that Aaron, a former Muay Thai champion and current MMA coach, had abused Lee “for years,” but she never saw it until that week.
“Nobody else would do anything,” Nguyen said. “People knew about it, they were intimidated. Everybody was.”
Nguyen headed to Michigan in the aftermath of what happened to train with wrestling standout Alesha Zappitella, who competes for Invicta FC. Yamamoto is a former three-time wrestling world champion and Nguyen wanted a few weeks of focusing on that aspect of mixed martial arts.
Nguyen, 36, actually has a victory over Yamamoto from 2016, a first-round submission. Nguyen believes that Rizin is trying to get Yamamoto, the older sister of MMA legend “Kid,” that victory back.
“They obviously think that Miyuu has improved, which she has,” Nguyen said. “And they just matched me up with Miyuu. I’m pretty sure they’re not flying me to Japan to win over one of their girls — they’re expecting me to lose. So, whatever.”
Nguyen will meet up with Lee again this week in South Carolina, where Nguyen keeps a permanent residence, to travel to Japan. Lee will be in Nguyen’s corner, the same way that Nguyen will be with Lee when Lee fights Jessica-Rose Clark at UFC on FOX 31 in December.
“Andrea is very embarrassed actually,” Nguyen said. “All the media, she’s getting a lot of interview requests. She told me when I’m doing interviews, ‘Tell them I don’t want to talk about it.’ She just wants to be done with it.”
Nguyen also has a fight booked after this — against Tiani Valle at X-1 Events 51 on Nov. 17 in Honolulu. After that, she’ll ready for Lee’s bout a month later.
It’s been a crazy stretch for Nguyen, a California native, who also dealt with the death of her father in the last year. She doesn’t want any kind of honor for doing what she felt she had to do for her friend last month. Right now, Nguyen just wants to keep her mind on fights — hers and Lee’s.
“Anything could have happened,” Nguyen said of that night in August. … “Nobody was gonna do it. Andrea is happier now.”