Vietnamese-American MMA fighter joins UFC

By Hoang Nguyen   September 14, 2023 | 05:18 am PT
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Steven Nguyen has won a contract to fight at the top-tier Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) after an impressive display in an audition tournament.
Steven Nguyen after winning a fight in the DWCS event on September 13, 2023. Photo by UFC

Steven Nguyen after winning a fight in the DWCS event on September 13, 2023. Photo by UFC

At the Dana White Contender Series (DWCS) event on Wednesday, Nguyen, who has nine wins and one loss, faced AJ Cunningham (10 wins and 3 losses) in the third fight of the show.

The DWCS, named after UFC president Dana White, is a promotional even in which potential UFC fighters are given the chance to win a contract to compete in the industry leading UFC’s most prestigious bouts.

Both Nguyen and Cunningham chose an aggressive approach from the start, firing off consecutive strikes at each other. However, Nguyen was more accurate and effective.

The 30-year-old Vietnamese-American came close to knocking out his opponent before Cunningham was saved by the bell in the first round. Nguyen maintained his accuracy in the next round and eventually dominated the struggling Cunningham. In the fourth minute of the second round, the referee stopped the fight and gave the win to Nguyen.

UFC president Dana White was pleased with the fight and after the event the battler Nguyen was one of five fighters recruited by the UFC.

Nguyen will compete in the featherweight category.

Nguyen has been competing in professional MMA tournaments since 2016. He has competed at other championships such as EFC, Shamrock FC and LFA before his entry to UFC.

UFC, founded in 1993, was the largest MMA promotion organization in the world as of 2022. More recently, UFC merged with wrestling promoter WWE to form TKO Group Holdings. White still remains UFC president.

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