Anissa “C18” Meksen has been widely regarded as the top pound-for-pound female striker in the world for many years, but she believes ONE Championship is the place for her to solidify that reputation.
The French superstar will make her debut on the global stage in a strawweight kickboxing battle against Martine “The Italian Queen” Michieletto at ONE: EMPOWER on Friday, 28 May, and she cannot wait to perform inside the Circle for the first time.
“I signed with ONE simply because it’s the best organization in the world,” Meksen says.
“I’m not anxious or scared at all. Frankly, I’m the opposite. I’m really motivated to get back in the ring. I really want to do well and I can’t wait to show what I’m made of.
“It’s true I’m under a lot of pressure because I have a status to maintain, but one thing I do is keep pushing myself to the limit to improve step by step to reach the highest level possible.”
Meksen, a six-time kickboxing and Muay Thai World Champion, has already achieved a tremendous amount of success in her career, but her hunger has not waned.
Instead, with the rise of ONE Super Series as the leading platform for the striking arts, the Paris native is more motivated than ever to add the biggest prizes in martial arts to her bulging trophy cabinet.
“My objective is crystal clear — win the ONE kickboxing and Muay Thai belts,” she asserts.
“The more time passes by, the bigger the urge grows, actually. I know if I can win and bring those belts home, it will clearly be a highlight in my career.
“I’ve traveled the world, [won] 18 different titles and, honestly, those are the two that I’m missing to top it all off.”
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With the quality of opposition available in ONE, that goal will not come without some tough tests.
However, “C18” has never been afraid to face off against high-level adversaries and she relishes the chance to climb the ladder in The Home Of Martial Arts.
Meksen’s first appearance will be in the strawweight ranks, but she eventually plans to move down a division and make a run at the atomweight gold.
“I really hope [my debut] will be a challenge for me. I’m not going to lie about it — it’s quite a big weight difference,” she admits.
“Ultimately, I’m always thirsty for a challenge and I always take a beautiful opportunity if it presents itself. I hope to give a tremendous performance and, after that, sign for my next fight at 52.2 kilograms.”
For an athlete who is so accomplished, Meksen has maintained her humility and the 33-year-old — who holds an astonishing 100-5 record — is reluctant to point out where she is better than her upcoming rival, Michieletto.
The Paris native recognizes that “The Italian Queen” is a formidable foe and she is not expecting to breeze past her European rival.
“To be honest, it’s hard for me to answer [what my advantages are] because I don’t like to put myself forward at all, but I’ll show you on 28 May during the fight,” she offers.
“Michieletto is a girl who I respect a lot. She is very strong. She’s the full package. She can do everything. She has good hands, she drops bombs, and she has good kicks.
“I’m training very, very hard, and I don’t underestimate her. Quite the contrary. I need to make an impression. I can’t afford to make a big mistake now.”
Still, “C18” is determined to produce a great performance that will announce her arrival on the global stage and fire out a warning shot to both the atomweight kickboxing queen, Janet “JT” Todd, and the atomweight Muay Thai queen, Allycia Hellen Rodrigues.
Meksen has put in the work to make sure her ONE debut goes perfectly so that she can stay on the track toward her goal of claiming two ONE World Titles in the future.
“I know I’m going to have a crazy fight on 28 May,” the French striker says.
“I’m determined to win and I have it in my head that it is my destiny at the moment. I live kickboxing, eat kickboxing, and my goal is clear — to prove to the world I’m the best by taking those belts.
“We have a strategy in place, so I am very confident about this fight.”