Unified MMA will make its long-awaited debut in Southern Alberta this Friday night.
The Unified MMA 44 card wouldn’t be complete without some of the best local talent and in the co-main event Calgary, Alta.’s own John Nguyen (4-2) will welcome Lethbridge Alta.’s Tom O’Connor (9-2) into the cage for a featherweight bout.
As he heads into his seventh professional bout, Nguyen, 29, is looking to test himself against the best Canada’s regional scene has to offer, and a matchup with O’Connor will provide him just that.
“He’s 9-2, so he has a good record. That’s why this fight was intriguing to me,” Nguyen said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I wanted to take it because he’s one of the top prospects in Canada and I’m always trying to get the best fights. He’s a game opponent for sure and I’m looking forward to testing him this weekend.”
Although Nguyen has a lot of respect for his opponent and is aware of the high-level ability he possesses, he doesn’t want to overanalyze the fight.
Nguyen said he will look to focus inward and bring the best version of himself to the cage.
“There’s a few specific things we work on for Tom, but I’m always focusing on myself,” Nguyen explained.
“I’m always looking to mix it up, go for a finish and make it an entertaining fight for the fans. He says he’s going to pressure me and he’s going to make me quit, but we’re going to have to see come fight night if he can. I’ll be the one pushing the pace and we’ll see if he can keep up.”
This weekend, Nguyen will look to make it a storybook homecoming as he throws down in Calgary for the first time as a professional.
Pumped up for the opportunity, Nguyen will look to continue stacking up wins over quality opponents until some of the big promotions start hitting his line.
“Fighting at home definitely gets me more excited,” Nguyen said.
“I haven’t fought in my hometown in quite awhile, so I’m excited to showcase my skills for everyone here in Calgary. I think I matchup really well with the top 145ers in Canada and I feel like I belong in the UFC right now. After this fight, whatever brings me closer to that goal is the path I’m on. Doesn’t matter who it is.”
After starting his career a modest 2-2, Nguyen will be aiming for his third win in a row this weekend.
Coming off a couple sensational performances, he’ll be looking to prove, once again, he belongs among Canada’s best.
“Training camp has been good, no injuries. I’m feeling sharp and ready to go. I just feel like I’m an elite fighter and I’m looking to prove it every time I’m out there,” Nguyen said.
“I’ve been putting lots of work in. I have great coaches around me working on all aspects of striking and MMA. Not only do they help sharpen my tools but every camp we’re adding to my game as well.”
“Coaches, sponsors and all my teammates.” Follow Nguyen on social media: INSTAGRAM