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Martin Nguyen in the Circle before his fight with Kim Jae-woong. Photos: ONE Championship.

ONE Championship Fight Night 7: Martin Nguyen gets new opponent after Shamil Gasanov withdraws with infection

  • Former two-division MMA champ was set to fight undefeated Russian Gasanov this Saturday in Bangkok, but will now meet Kyrgyzstan’s Razhab Shaydullaev
  • 22-year-old Shaydullaev will make his short-notice ONE debut after a perfect 6-0 start to his professional MMA career, with finishes in all six wins

Martin Nguyen has a new opponent for Saturday’s ONE Championship Fight Night 7 event in Bangkok, Thailand.

The former two-division MMA champion had been set to meet undefeated featherweight contender Shamil Gasanov at the event in Lumpinee Stadium, but will instead meet Kyrgyzstan’s Razhab Shaydullaev after his original foe was forced out of action, a source told the Post.

Nguyen, 33, revealed that Gasanov was out of their fight in an Instagram post late last week.

Shamil Gasanov celebrates a submission win over Kim Jae-woong.

“Just received a message from [Gasanov] saying he has an infection and he has had to pull out of our fight,” the Vietnamese-Australian wrote. “Health always takes precedence, but I couldn’t help but feel so frustrated. I had a 12-week camp, missed Christmas and New Years and other important family occasions, all to get the best camp possible to fight someone as good and talented as him.”

Despite having less than a week to find Nguyen a new opponent for the card, ONE was able to track down Shaydullaev, who will now make his promotional debut against the former two-weight champ with just days to prepare.

At a glance, it looks like a tall order for the Kyrgyzstani fighter, but he will enter the ONE Circle with an impressive resume.

Christian, Angela Lee cheer on brother Adrian, 17, to wrestling title

At 22, he is already 6-0 as a professional mixed martial artist, with finishes in all six of his victories. All but one of his wins have come against more experienced competitors, and most of his opponents have had winning records.

Still, he will face a gargantuan step up in competition this weekend.

Nguyen (14-6) first got his hands on ONE gold in 2017, when he knocked out Marat Gafurov to win the featherweight belt. In his next fight, he became a two-division champion, knocking out Eduard Folayang to win the lightweight title.

He ultimately vacated the lightweight throne with the intention of focusing on his duties as the featherweight champion. He defended the division’s title three times, against Christian Lee, Jadambaa Narantungalag, and Koyomi Matsushima, before he finally relinquished it with a knockout loss to Thanh Le in 2020.

Martin Nguyen lands a right hand on Kirill Gorobets at ONE: Lights Out

He has gone 1-2 since losing the belt, sandwiching a knockout win over Kirill Gorobets between knockout losses to Kim Jae-woong and Ilya Freymanov.

Saturday’s card in Lumpinee Stadium will be topped by a rematch between Brazilians Fabricio Andrade and John Lineker, with the vacant bantamweight MMA title hanging in the balance.

In the co-main event, featherweight Muay Thai champion Tawanchai PK. Saenchai, from Thailand, will attempt to defend his belt against Turkey’s Jamal Yusupov.