Nico, first thank you so much for your time and availability.
You fought twice in ONE and you got two knockouts, two bonuses and the one-hundred-thousand-dollar contract. As your coach J.P. Gallagher said, we are in the “Nico era.” How do you feel about it?
“Yes, I am feeling very good after my wins – two events, two knockouts. I have always said that if they had put me the 4-ounce gloves, it would have been a big problem for whoever was going to stand in front of me. And, about my coach’s comment, yes, I believe we are in the Nico era. My intention is not to slow down and keep on running.”
Since 2019, your record is: 13 fights, 13 wins, and eight knockouts. Who will be the next for you? Who would you like to be next for you inside ONE Championship?
“If I had the choice, obviously I would love to face the champion. Whether it happens or not is up to ONE Championship. And if I had to pick up anybody else, I would love to face the No. 1, 2 or 3 in ONE ranking. Beat them and then move on to the title shot.”
What do you think you can add to ONE Championship events?
“Excitement. I can add knockout power to the division, and I have a lot of years in front of my career.”
How did you start your career in combat sports?
“I started Thai boxing 10 years ago in summer. I was 15 years old, and I’m now 24. I am proud of what I have accomplished until now, but I’ve only scratched the surface of my potential.”
J.P. has always been with you from what we’ve seen. You’ve both been on this road to success. Can you tell us a bit more about your special bond?
“He started coaching me when I was 15, and I think that the fact he is there since the beginning creates a special bond between us. He is my trainer, but he is obviously also my best friend. The secret ingredient of our success is that, in our relationship, there is no ego involved. Being both young and eager to improve, we always listen to each other’s suggestions, and neither of us thinks that he knows better than the other [when it comes to] what should be done.”
This is a personal question. Your fans have seen how hard your training is (e.g. kilometers of running in the Scottish Highlands in all weathers and especially temperatures), and how powerful your motivation is. There is no secret behind this incredible success, but hundreds of hours of training, sacrifice and passion. How important is it for a fighter to have the support of his life partner? We have seen that your girlfriend always follows you in your journey to success.
“Sure, I think that, behind all the great athletes, there is always a great woman or man in their life. Nowadays, everyone only sees the sparkles on social media, but she is always there behind closed doors when the cameras are off – the good days, the bad days. She is the only one who is always there for me to lean on, and I think having a great woman to support you in your career is the key to success for all the greats.”
What are your favourite hobbies besides fighting? We saw something about Orlando, Fla.
“My biggest hobby I would say training. It does not have to be Thai boxing. I love running, I love weightlifting, strength-and-conditioning and, in general, everything that involves competition. After that, I would mention weekends with my fiancée and my dog. I love travelling with them for overnight stays. And, my third hobby I would say is going to Orlando, Fla. I absolutely love Universal and Disney World.”
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