Niclas Larsen is ready to meet the moment when he takes top billing in his ONE Championship debut on Friday, 3 June.
Known as “Dreamchaser,” Larsen thrives off this kind of life-changing opportunity, and there aren’t many bigger ones than introducing himself to the global fan base in such a high-profile contest.
“Just to debut in ONE Championship is incredible. And to see that I’m now fighting in the main event, and against a strong opponent like Tawanchai, I’m just feeling so, so blessed. I feel so good, and I feel so much motivation.
“I couldn’t see a better place to be than in ONE Championship. So I’ve been working a lot to come in and show that I belong in the greatest promotion in the world.”
Larsen has battled elite opponents in other organizations – even claiming the WBC Muay Thai World Title – so he feels prepared to compete under the bright lights in Singapore.
However, he’s never faced anyone quite like Tawanchai, who’s considered one of the top pound-for-pound strikers on the planet and owns a staggering 126 professional wins.
But instead of worrying about his famous foe, the 32-year-old from Denmark is using this step up in competition as fuel to prove that he can hang with anyone.
“I’ve been dreaming of this, and my nickname is also the ‘Dreamchaser,’ so it fits me very well that all that is happening.
“Of course, I feel some sort of pressure. But I also feel that now I’ve been in the game for quite a while, the pressure just brings out the best of me. When I meet a strong, very good, experienced, talented guy, it also brings the best out of me. So the pressure is turning into excitement. I’m more focused and more motivated. I’m more inspired.”
Niclas Larsen Hopes To Make Things Difficult For Tawanchai’s ‘Beautiful Style’
When it comes to elite opponents who will push him to his limits, Niclas Larsen knows that Tawanchai PK.Saenchai is about as tough as they come.
The Thai star already has two stunning knockouts in ONE Championship, and he holds the #5 contender spot in the featherweight Muay Thai rankings after moving up from bantamweight.
“Dreamchaser” watched those performances closely and knows that nothing will come easy when they throw down in Singapore. At the same time, he thinks that feeling should go both ways.
“Well, [Tawanchai’s] just incredible. He has such a nice way of fighting. And he looks so confident when he fights. He looks so sharp, he becomes powerful. And he’s just a very good fighter.
“He’s a southpaw. He’s doing his thing, and he’s always dangerous. I believe that he will make me feel very lively when I fight him. I also believe that even though I really admire him and the way he fights, I have the ingredients to make it difficult for him.”
Larsen certainly has reason to feel confident. Boasting a 61-12-2 record with 30 knockouts, he comes into this main event with plenty of weapons.
Crucially, the Extreme Muay Thai representative likes to impose his game from the opening bell and set a blistering pace throughout every round.
He believes this mindset will help tilt the shorter contest in his favor, but he knows it’ll take more than that to defeat Tawanchai.
And while Larsen won’t make any bold predictions, he’s promising a fascinating clash between two exciting featherweight strikers.
“He’s a very, very intelligent fighter with good IQ, but I see that there are some ways that I can come in and disturb his really beautiful style as he’s fighting.
“In Thailand, they start slow in the fight. In ONE it’s only three rounds and you fight from the start, so I believe that could be something that could make it harder for him to really show [his skills].
“Anything can happen, and I believe that I have the tools to take him out, but also I believe that he has the tools to take me out. So this is going to be so incredible to watch. I will bring my best and I believe he will do the same.”