ONE Championship: Dawn of Heroes Adds Martin Nguyen vs. Koyomi Matsushima As New Main Event

Martin Nguyen ONE Championship
Martin Nguyen Credit: ONE Championship

ONE Championship featherweight king Martin Nguyen returns to action next month at Dawn of Heroes, where he’ll face Japan’s Koyomi Matsushima in the newly announced main event.

ONE Championship has switched up the main event for August’s Dawn of Heroes card. Originally announced as featuring Jonathan Haggerty vs Rodtang Jitmuangnon for the ONE flyweight Muay Thai championship, the promotion has opted to let MMA top the card instead. In the newly announced main event, featherweight champ Martin Nguyen will take on Japan’s Koyomi Matsushima.

In a press release Wednesday, ONE did not provide a reason for the change, nor indicate if the flyweight Muary Thai title fight would remain on the card. However, the event has plenty of star power behind it, with Demetrious Johnson, Eddie Alvarez, and Yushin Okami all appearing at show in Manila, Philippines.

Nguyen (12-3), however, will earn top billing at the event. The former double champ was forced to vacate his lightweight belt due to injury last fall, but has held onto the featherweight title, last defending it against Narantungalag Jadambaa at Roots of Honor in April.

In fact, the champ’s only missteps of late came in attempts to secure a third title, at bantamweight — where he suffered defeats to both Bibiano Fernandes and Kevin Belingon.

Matsushima (11-3), a former Pancrase fighter, has won both his ONE Championship bouts to date. That includes a TKO of former champ Marat Gafurov last year.

ONE Championship: Dawn of Heroes takes place at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manilla, Philippines on August 2.