Regian Eersel Vs. Alexis Nicolas: 4 Keys To Kickboxing World Title Victory At ONE Fight Night 21

Regian Eersel Dmitry Menshikov ONE Fight Night 11 16

Regian “The Immortal” Eersel has been an unstoppable force in ONE’s lightweight striking divisions, but a new contender is ready to try his luck against the Surinamese superstar this Friday, April 5. 

Following a solid promotional debut, Alexis “Barboza” Nicolas will challenge Eersel for the ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Title live in U.S. primetime in the main event of ONE Fight Night 21 on Prime Video.

With an unbeaten 23-0 record, the French phenom will enter with plenty of momentum, but how will his skills fare against Eersel, who hasn’t lost in eight years while facing top-flight competition?

Here are the biggest keys to victory for both fighters ahead of their mammoth clash for the gold at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

#1 Eersel’s Volume Striking 

With a 10-0 record in ONE that includes eight World Title victories in both the kickboxing and Muay Thai ranks, Eersel knows how to turn it on under the bright lights.  

In the opposite corner, Nicolas is facing by far the biggest match of his life, so there’s a chance he might need some time to steady the ship. “The Immortal” can capitalize on this by immediately going on the offensive with his high-volume output.  

The 31-year-old titleholder is renowned for moving forward and opening up with punishing salvos, though he can sometimes take his time to read his opponent in round one.  

If Eersel comes out fast and unleashes his punches, kicks, and knees from the opening bell, Nicolas should struggle to get any foothold in the contest. 

At that point, it would be difficult for the challenger to turn the tide – especially with “The Immortal’s” record-breaking offense that includes the most significant strikes landed in a single ONE match (against Nieky Holzken in 2019). 

#2 Nicolas’ Low Kicks 

Nicolas needs to stem the flow before Eersel builds up steam, and his low kicks could help do that.  

The reigning king likes to step forward with long combinations and punctuate them with kicks and knees, but if “Barboza” can disrupt those combos, he could throw Eersel off his game. 

The 25-year-old challenger works a lot of inside low kicks from his left leg that can force missteps and off-balance an opponent. Doing this to “The Immortal” would slow down the attacks and open up more chances to counter.  

Nicolas also has powerful outside low kicks off the right side. When Eersel walks forward to throw punches, he has to load his weight through his lead leg, limiting his ability to check.  

So, if the ISKA Kickboxing World Champion can time his strikes correctly, he could accumulate damage on the titleholder’s lead leg while warning him off lunging in too often.  

#3 Eersel’s Conditioning 

One thing Eersel has shown in his long World Championship reign is his ability to grow into a match and go through the gears.  

It’s hard for anyone to keep up with his pace, and it could be even more difficult for a rising star who has never been pushed by such a relentless athlete.  

Nicolas showed some signs of fatigue in his three-round debut against Magomed Magomedov, whereas “The Immortal” can keep dialing up the pressure into the championship rounds. 

The reigning king finished Sinsamut Klinmee in round four of their rematch for the ONE Lightweight Muay Thai World Title and has won six grueling five-round World Title decisions.  

If he sees Nicolas start to flag, Eersel will take advantage and look to put him away, knowing he always has the gas in the tank to keep pushing. 

#4 Nicolas’ Right Hand 

It’s hard to imagine Nicolas beating Eersel via decision, but he has a piston of a right hand that could be his ticket to a knockout blow.

Although Eersel is extremely durable with a good chin, he can be caught, and “Barboza” has shown fight-ending ability with his punches.

The Frenchman throws his right hand behind his jab or left hook, but he’s happy to lead with it. He also doubles up with the power punch if he catches an opponent with the first one – and then uncorks a left hand to the head or body if they focus too much on blocking their left side.  

Nicolas timed an overhand when Magomedov tried a jumping knee in their ONE Friday Fights battle, and if he can find his timing against Eersel’s signature move, that could lead to the money shot. 

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