Heights grad looking to punch ticket into UFC

Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 11:08 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Steven Nguyen, a local MMA fighter and Heights graduate, needed just 30 seconds to land the jab that would knock out his opponent back in February, earning him a second shot at a UFC contract this September.

“I’m very excited for this opportunity to fight for the contender series again, it’s my time and I have matured so much within the last year since I’ve fought,” Nguyen said. “I am feeling like I am getting better every single day and this is my time to punch my ticket into the UFC.”

Punching his ticket into the UFC is an opportunity he once had before, but a loss in his first contender series fight in 2019 put a halt on his dreams of signing a contract with the UFC.

“I learned so much from that fight about myself, not just my skills but the mental game. That was my first loss as a professional and it was definitely hard to take,” he said. “You either bounce back or you just sit there and dwell. I decided to bounce back and get right back in the gym and work on things I needed to work. I got better.”

Nguyen said his approach and mentality this time around is different.

“I am focusing on one fight at a time this time and this next fight is the biggest fight of my life,” he said. “I am fully focused on it and locked in, I am not letting anything stop me. This is my time and I am going to go in there and finish this guy in the first round and it’s going to be history in the making.”

History in the making, as a win would mean he’s one step closer to achieving his goal of becoming the first ever Vietnamese UFC Champion, and first UFC champion from Wichita.

“I can inspire other young fighters here that are wanting to follow the same path and become a professional fighter,” Nguyen said. “I want to show them they can do the same thing and they can do it from Wichita, out of Wichita by training with the best fighters here.” The Dana White Contender Series is on September 21 in Las Vegas.

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