By: Nick Portella
What’s up cage fanatics? Today I had the pleasure to sit down with the the lovely and talented Andy “The CrAsian” Nguyen. Andy holds a professional record of 4-3. Her most recent fight was December 31, 2016 in the Rizin 4 Fighting World Grand Prix. Andy defeated Miyu Yamamoto via technical submission (armbar) 4:42 into the first round. This win made Andy the Rizin atomweight world champion. Let’s have a seat with her now.
Nick: What does it mean (to you) to be a fighter?
Andy: I’ve been a fighter all my life. Being a fighter keeps me in check because I’m crazy. That is why I’m the CrAsian.
Nick: At what age did you begin to train martial arts?
Andy: I began training in martial arts at the age of 27.
Nick: What belts do you have and in what disciplines?
Andy: I have a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu under Relson Gracie. I trained with Andrea “KGB” Lee and Karate Mafia in Louisiana but I do not hold a belt in any other discipline.
Nick: What made you choose fighting as a career?
Andy: Fighting was my hobby. I didn’t want to get serious until 3 years ago. I had 18 amateur MMA fights, 7 boxing / kickboxing amateur bouts, and have a record of 6-12 as an amateur with bouts from 115-135 lbs.
Nick: What were the factors used to stay amateur and go professional when you did?
Andy: I wanted to stay an amateur because I enjoyed fighting win or lose. I was scared if I turned professional I wouldn’t fight as much. Most professional fighters don’t get offers of back to back fights like I do.
Nick: What was the turning point in your career and what made you choose the training camp that you did?
Andy: I went to train with Andrea Lee after I lost to Ashley Samples. I wanted to figure out what I did wrong. Andrea beat Ashley before I lost to her. That loss in front of my hometown with thousands of people attending made me very sad. So I booked a flight to Louisiana to train with Andrea. Since then I have grown into a real mixed martial artist. Karate Mafia offered me a chance to join the team and train full time. At the time I was working in a nail spa and juggling being a single mother. My son’s father said: “Let Sebastian live with me and you go train.” It was very hard to be away from my family and friends to live in Louisiana, but I did it. I was determined to turn professional before I die. I won my first professional MMA debut and got paid for doing what I love. I got hungry again as if I first started in MMA all over.
Nick: You understand that marketing is important in the sport, especially with the release of your new calendar. What tips would you give young up and coming fighters on the balance of presenting yourself based on beauty vs. brawn or skill alone?
Andy: The advice I would give the girls as an amateur is fight often and fight in many different disciplines to get the most experience. You have to feel comfortable in front of hundreds or thousands of people. You also must accept the winning and the losing. The modeling side is just
to prove a pretty girl can fight too.
Nick: You currently fight at Atomweight, a weight class we have seen fighters abandon just for a chance at the UFC. Have you considered moving up if it meant a shot at the UFC or will you plan to stay at Atomweight?
Andy: I will not take the offer as a strawweight in the UFC. I am just too tiny. When I am training full time I weigh between 119-120 lbs.
Nick: July 1, 2016 at Legacy 57 you faced off against Bi Nguyen on her pro debut. You lost the fight via decision. May 6, 2017 you will step in the octagon again to face her with your King of the Cge title on the line. Would this win be the ultimate redemption for you?
Andy: Of course it would be the ultimate redemption. This fight has nothing to do with my talented opponent Bi Nguyen. I don’t see Bi across the cage. I am fighting myself.
Nick: Do you have a prediction for your fight against Bi Nguyen?
My prediction is the fans would love to see Nguyen vs. Nguyen 3.
Nick: So your loyal fans can follow you when will AndyNguyen.org be officially up and running?
Andy: My site is not finished just yet because I have been busy training. They can follow my Facebook fan page or look me up on Twitter for now.
Nick: If you could have one dream fight with anyone who would it be?
Andy: I don’t have one dream fight. Every fight I am in is magical.
Nick: Andy have you submitted to the takeover?
Andy: This is Andy Nguyen and I have submitted to the takeover.
I have to say that Andy is an amazing person and fighter. I wish her the best of luck in her upcoming title defense. Make sure to give her a follow through social media to keep up to date with what she is doing. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA