Wichita MMA fighter earns opportunity to fight for UFC contract

Published: Jun. 7, 2019 at 8:58 PM CDT
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Steven Nguyen has been waiting for his big break. It finally came the first week of June in the form of an invitation from UFC President Dana White.

After 19 years of fighting, Nguyen has the chance to land a UFC contract through the UFC Contender Series. When he got the call, his emotions were through the roof.

"I really didn't even have any words. So many emotions came up to me at that point," he said. I" just started thinking about all the hard work that I've been putting through, everything that that's leading up to this point that it's finally happening it was just a very surreal moment for me."

Nguyen has been fighting since he was five years old, practicing kick-boxing, jujitsu, wrestling throughout his years at Wichita Heights High School. He then started training with MMA, fighting through the amateur ranks. Now, a 24-year-old graduate from Wichita State University, Nguyem went 6-0 as a pro fighter with five finishes.

He said this next opportunity is his calling, but he's not just fighting for himself out there.

"When I go out there it's not just me in that cage. It's me and everybody that's supported me, and everybody from Wichita, you know 316," he said. "And I'm gonna go in there, I'm ready, you know, I'm ready. And I'm gonna train harder than ever and I'm gonna be ready when the time comes."

It also means a lot for him to represent his home country. Nguyen hopes to be the only Vietnamese fighter in the UFC.

"That's a big thing for my home country and that's a big thing for Wichita you know. I'm here, like I said to represent, everybody that even likes MMA here. So, I'm ready to put it on for my city."