The 26-year-old Dutchman defeated his countryman by unanimous decision to win the belt in May, and the pair will meet again at ONE: DAWN OF VALOR in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Although “The Immortal” did not expect to square off against his rival again so soon, he agreed to the match at the Istora Senayan to prove that he is, without doubt, his division’s undisputed number one.
“My first reaction was, ‘I just beat him, why do I have to do it again?’” Eersel admits.
“But, my manager said the best thing to do was just to fight him again, and prove to myself and the world that I’m the better fighter.”
The Sityodtong Amsterdam representative was the clear victor in their first battle after he turned the screw with an aggressive attack as the bout wore on into the championship rounds. In the fourth stanza, he all but sealed the win with a jumping knee that knocked “The Natural” onto the canvas.
However, Holzken was competitive until the final bell, and “The Immortal” recognizes that an elite striker like him will learn where he went wrong, and return better, stronger, and more fired up to avenge his loss.
“I think this will be a harder fight for both of us because we know better how the other one fights now – he knows a little bit about how I fight, and I know about him too,” Eersel explains.
“I think he’ll come with a different style, and I’ll come to fight with a different style too. He wants to win of course, and I want to prove that I am the better fighter, so it will be a harder fight than the first one.”
- How Regian Eersel Took Nieky Holzken’s Best Shots And Struck Gold
- Regian Eersel’s Inspirational Journey To World Title Success
- Zebaztian Kadestam Promises To Put On A Show In Jakarta
It might be tougher, but with a victory over the man from Helmond already in his locker, Eersel is confident that he can win again and successfully defend his World Title for the first time.
He has dialed up his training so that he can put even more pressure on “The Natural,” and keep it up until the final bell.
“It’s not like I added new things, I just worked more on my conditioning because I felt in the last round, I didn’t push him,” says “The Immortal.”
“I was sure I would win, but we were both tired by then. I just scored my points, stood back, stepped to the side – not moving forward as much. I worked more on the conditioning [this time] so I can push him in the last round, too.
“I think Nieky will try to go harder this time also, but I don’t think he can hold on until the later rounds with me.”
Eersel came close to a memorable stoppage in Singapore in May, and a win by highlight-reel knockout would be the perfect way to put a stamp on this rivalry of elite Dutch strikers, but he is experienced enough to know he cannot guarantee that against one of the best martial artists on the planet.
Still, the Amsterdam native promises to bring even more aggression and put extra pressure on in the second encounter to give the fans in Indonesia something they will never forget.
If he can repeat his form from all the other rematches in his career, the Istora Senayan is sure to erupt on 25 October.
“The goal is always to finish somebody, but it’s Nieky Holzken. He’s a good fighter, and he’s still dangerous – even when you hurt him,” he states.
“I’m going to try it, but I’m not going to say I will finish him. When you fight the best guys, it is not so simple. In my whole career, I fought three guys twice, and in the second fight, I knocked out all three of them. I hope to do the same again.”