Steven Nguyen only needed 30-seconds to make a statement in the LFA debut, knocking out Jorge Juarez in 30-seconds at LFA 100 on Feb. 19.
For the Fortis MMA product, it was a much-needed victory after coming off his first career loss and a lengthy layoff.
“It is definitely one of the best feelings I’ve ever had,” Nguyen told Cageside Press. “You know, I was actually very relaxed. I know there was pressure on me. But I try not to pay too much attention in there. As I said, I lost my Contender Series fight and I was supposed to fight back in November. But I had a shoulder injury that kept me out. So a lot of things are happening and I feel like this is the perfect timing for me to come right back.”
Nguyen (7-1) suffered his first career loss on DWCS in July 2019 after he was knocked out by Aalon Cruz. The 27-year-old missed all of 2020 due to injuries and the pandemic hampering regional MMA.
“I just recently moved to Dallas last March,” Nguyen explained. “As soon as we moved here, the pandemic happened, COVID-19 hit everything shut down. We had to go back to my hometown, Kansas, and we had to stay there for a couple of months. And then we finally got back to Dallas, everything’s looking good. Getting ready for a big fight, then about three weeks out, I injured my shoulder. So then that’s another six to eight-week recovery, at least.
“So then right after that, we’re looking for another fight for LFA on February. 19. Not a lot of people know actually kind of took this fight on somewhat of short notice as well. I found out who’s gonna be my opponent, pretty much on the week of my fight. We just had to take it, and just embrace the challenge.”
With the victory, “The Ninja” knows he’s in a good spot and isn’t wasting any time on his next move. That’s why the featherweight standout is staying ready in case of a short-notice call-up from the UFC.
“I’m in talks right now with my manager and my coach about some things coming up. I can’t really say too many details. Let’s say this, I’m going to stay ready, man. I don’t have a scratch on me. I’m going to continue to train, it’s not like I’m injured. So I’m just gonna get right back into the gym and taking the rest of this week off. And then it’s right back to work.”
Watch our full interview with LFA 100’s Steven Nguyen above!