Alexis Nicolas (R) (ONE Championship)

Alexis Nicolas Discusses His Title Win Over Regian Eersel at ONE Fight Night 21

ONE Championship has a new lightweight kickboxing king. At ONE Fight Night 21, Alexis Nicolas overcame the odds and defeated Regian Eersel to claim the ONE lightweight kickboxing title.

While fans and pundits around the world doubted the Frenchman, “Barboza” was confident in his skills, and he used the U.S. primetime platform to prove everybody wrong.

“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.”

“The Immortal” was game as ever to defend his crown, but Nicolas was continually out in front in the eyes of the judges. And the key moment of the match came in the second round when the challenger scored a knockdown.

“Barboza” stymied the now-former champion’s flow over and over, and he felt even more confident in how everything played out when reflecting on his performance.

“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 stated.

“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.”

Receiving a World Title and becoming a champion is a special moment for any athlete. It typically marks the culmination of a career’s worth of hard work, and credit is bestowed upon themselves and their team.

While he expressed gratitdue to those in who got him there, the unbeaten star was mostly happy to give the title to the people of France.

“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,” Nicolas said.

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

Now wearing the bullseye on his back, “Barboza” feels ready to defend his coveted strap against whomever steps forward first.

He is not intimidated by anyone and wants to continue to prove he is the best kickboxer on the planet.

“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!”