Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Ben Nguyen (red gloves) reacts as he competes against Ryan Benoit (blue gloves) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports
While the Holly Holm – Ronda Rousey fight was the focus of most people watching UFC 193 in Melbourne, Asian American Ben “10” Nguyen’s win over Ryan Benoit in the prelims caught my eye. Announcer Joe Rogan called Nguyen’s performance “perfect.” That victory was reached through a long and global path that includes love and a tattoed bully! Ben Nguyen, born in South Dakota to Vietnamese immigrant parents, met an Australian girl when he was training in Thailand. He followed her to Australia and continued his MMA career there. A year after the actual fight, the above video with Julian “Julz the Jackal” Rabaud went viral, and the publicity helped Nguyen secure a UFC contract.
While he acknowledges that the video helped him (and maybe this Reddit Q&A too), he wants to make a name for himself on more than that. He got a good start to that end at UFC Fight Night 65, getting a TKO win over Alptekin Ozkilic. His submission of Benoit is his second victory in the Octagon. It’s been a busy time for Nyugen, as he reveals in the interview below that he also got married during his fight camp! I think we will see him do impressive things in the UFC’s flyweight (125 lb) division.
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scrivener: This is a solid list, but if you're not going to count Asian-born athletes who don't consider themselves Asian American, you might reconsider counting Pacific... – Top 5 Asian American Athletes