Ben Nguyen hopes UFC success helps him become more than ‘internet famous’
After video of Ben Nguyen’s March 2014 KO over Julian Rabaud went viral on the net, the flyweight wasn’t sure how to top it. "It’s funny how the shortest fight in my career is now my most famous fight. It just came out of nowhere and I was shocked. Alright, I’m Internet famous, now. What do I do next?" he wondered out loud this past May.
What he did next was extend his win streak to eight, including first-round finishes in his first two UFC bouts. His most recent win came this past Saturday in Melbourne at UFC 193 against Ryan Benoit.
Nguyen, who now lives in Australia, was a bit overwhelmed by the gigantic Etihad stadium — the largest to ever host a UFC event. "It was just ridiculous how big that stadium was. I’ve never been inside a stadium that big," he told Submission Radio, after his submission victory.
"It was crazy."
All the attention he still gets daily for his YouTube classic fight in 2014 is also a bit crazy, to the 27-year-old. Though he won’t likely tire of the recognition, he is hoping that the sum of his career also begins to get the attention it deserves.
"I feel like I’ve been around for awhile. I’m just now starting to get that exposure to the mainstream public," he said.
"Everyone has seen that video. That’s what everyone knows me by, but I’ve worked my way into the UFC and have a big winning streak so it does bother me a little bit that that is all I’m known for. But, I’m still not tired of it. I don’t care if people come up to me and tell me about it. It’s cool."
The South Dakota fighter went on to say that he does believe that he’s the flyweight division’s dark horse contender, but after a hectic past few months that combined a training camp, fight and wedding, he wouldn’t mind a break in action.
"I’m happy to take a little break," he admitted.
"I had a pretty big camp, and I got married last month. I’ve been juggling everything and there’s a lot of stress so it would be nice to chill out for a little bit."
When he does return, Nguyen sounds game for any opponent, any place. His first two UFC wins have come in his adopted home of Australia, and though he loves fighting in front of Aussie crowds, he wouldn’t mind some more world-traveling.
"I don’t care where I go," he explained.
"I’d like to go back to the U.S. That’s where my hometown is. I wouldn’t mind going to Asia, or Europe, even. That would be cool."
As for opposition, Nguyen isn’t being picky. He just wants to keep on winning.
"I feel like I’m still new to the UFC scene," he reasoned.
"So, I’m up for anything."