Following the fight, Nguyen and Juarez discussed the strike and all was smoothed over immediately. Like Nguyen, Juarez understands that it’s nobody’s favorite part of the sport, but it’s a part of MMA.

“My opponent has done that to me before,” Nguyen said. “This happens all the time in MMA.”

Over a week since the follow-up blow heard ‘round the world, comments continue to pile up, and where most fighters may let it affect them, Nguyen had a KO win that went viral, leads the pack for Knockout of the Year, and he doesn’t have a scratch on him. He assures that he’s ready for his next trip to the cage without a second of thought for anyone else’s opinion.

“If my coach would have yelled at me and said that, it would have been a different story,” Nguyen said. “If my ma called me and told me that or if one of my close friends would have said that, I would have been like, ‘Oh man.’ I know how this game works. I was born for this, so let them keep talking.”

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