Johnny Nunez had options for where he would make his next appearance in martial arts.
But it was on the advice of his partner, former UFC World Champion and current ONE Championship Vice President Miesha Tate that ultimately led him to decide on ONE Championship.
Nunez will face Kazuki Tokudome on 25 October at ONE: DAWN OF VALOR from the Istora Senayan in Jakarta, Indonesia. The bout marks his first appearance for ONE Championship.
“Well, last year about this time in September I had just been approached about competing for Bellator and at the same time, Miesha saw an Evolve MMA advertisement on Facebook,” Nunez said.
“Evolve was having tryouts and they came with a one-year training plus room and board. She messaged me and asked what I thought about moving to Singapore to train and maybe compete for ONE Championship.”
As they like to say, the rest is history.
“I said, ‘Yes,’” Nunez said.
“Since we had already been there a few times and had a relationship with (ONE Championship CEO and Evolve founder) Chatri Sityodtong. Miesha reached out to him about me coming out for a tryout and then one thing led to another and now here we are.”
Nunez, Tate, and daughter Amaia made the move and transition from Las Vegas, United States to Singapore with Evolve.
“The adjustment was a bit hard at first, but we have settled in and really enjoying the Singapore life,” Nunez said.
The 34-year-old Nunez will carry a two-bout win streak into his showdown with Tokudome, who is 19-10-1 overall. In his career, Nunez has lost just once in eight bouts and also has experience from appearing on the UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter series.
Nunez claimed victories in his first five matches after turning pro in 2012, earning two finishes, a submission and two decision wins. He scored victories over Ozzy Dugulubgov, Joel Dona Orsoto, Joel Lam, Kerry Lattimer, and Lee Henry Lilly.
After falling to Joe Condon in 2015, Nunez rebounded with victories over David Jordan and Josh Wick around his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter.
With both Nunez and Tate under the same promotion, the two have had more time together to help raise their baby girl.
“Miesha working with ONE has been good for the family, just not so much beneficial to me directly,” Nunez said.
“She stays pretty busy and she loves what she does, so I guess it is true what they say: ‘Happy wife, happy life.’”
ONE: DAWN OF VALOR features Zebaztian Kadestam defending his ONE Welterweight World Championship against Kiamrian Abbasov and Regian Eersel putting his ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Title on the line against Nieky Holzken.