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Alexis Nicolas Reflects On Title Win After ONE Fight Night 21

Alexis Nicolas

Black Belt Plus

Alexis Nicolas did what many believed he could not do at ONE Fight Night 21: defeat Regian Eersel and become the ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Champion.

After five rounds, and a knockdown in the second round, “Barboza” got the unanimous decision victory and became the king of ONE Championship’s lightweight division.

Following the conclusion of his title win, Nicolas was able to reflect on his crowning moment.

“Before the fight, when my manager told me we would fight against Regian Eersel, I said yes. If I wasn’t ready for this fight I [would have never taken it]. Now, I have the belt, and I showed the world that I’m the best,” Nicolas told ONE.

“I didn’t win against just anyone – I won against Regian Eersel, the legend. And I’m very proud. I worked hard. It was a crazy fight. It’s a very, very good feeling.”

“Barboza” credits his game plan for the title win. After identifying a weakness in the armor of “The Immortal,” the Frenchman attacked and executed the strategy that was laid out before the match.

“I felt I did enough to win. I felt [I was close to knocking him out] after the first round because I worked hard. That was the game plan. The calf kick was the strategy, and I saw he wasn’t ready for this,” Nicolas recalled.

“It was a very hard fight. He was very strong, and I know he was in pain in the first round. I was in pain too when I kicked his knee. So it was hard for both of us. We are two big champions, and the best man won tonight. And it was me.”

Toppling Eersel was no easy feat and ended an eight-year unbeaten run by the Surinamese striker.

Although getting the 26 pounds of gold over his shoulder is a reminder of the accomplishment, Nicolas is clear that the real victory lies in proving himself to his fans.

“This belt is not the real [accomplishment] tonight. The real win is I won the hearts of all the French people. All my fans now know that I’m the best. I worked hard, and I’m very proud,” the Frenchman said.

“So that’s my real happiness tonight – bringing this belt to my country, my family, Mahmoudi Gym, and all my team.”

Now that he sits on the throne, Nicolas knows he will wear the target of all the lightweight contenders.

He is more than alright with that arrangement and plans to defend his title against any challenger who steps up to him as the new king.

“What’s next is simple. I have the belt. I want to fight anyone who wants the belt. I know Eersel wants this belt again. I know all the world wants it,” Nicolas said.

“This fight was very hard. I will rest a little bit because I’m tired and in a little bit of pain, and then after that, I will come back to training. I want to come back and fight. I’m hungry!”

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