ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Champion Regian “The Immortal” Eersel discovered a lot about himself in his most recent battle, including his ability to meet the occasion when faced with extreme adversity.
The Dutch-Surinamese superstar suffered a stunning second-round knockdown in the main event of ONE 156 last Friday, but he bounced back to thwart game challenger Arian “Game Over” Sadikovic and retain his World Title gold for the fourth time.
“The Immortal” put on a striking clinic against the German powerhouse and came away with a hard-fought unanimous decision victory after surviving the mid-fight scare.
“It was really close, in my opinion. But this was one of my toughest fights inside ONE Championship.
“I enjoyed the fight. It didn’t seem like that way. But, you know, I’m a fighter. I like a good fight. I think I put on a good fight for the fans also. So yeah, I enjoyed it.”
The knockdown was a rare test for Eersel, who admits he played into Sadikovic’s hands early on.
But once he found his footing, the 29-year-old divisional king bombarded his opponent with flying knees, switch kicks, and rangy boxing combinations while using his length to nullify the challenger’s power.
With the impressive recovery, “The Immortal” improved his flawless ONE Championship record to 7-0, won his 19th straight bout overall, and still hasn’t tasted defeat in a jaw-dropping six years.
“The biggest lesson [that I learned]? I think I have to be sharper. He was talking to me, and that distracted me a little bit. You fight somebody and punch, and they say, ‘Come on, come on.’ And then I started talking back, so I was like, getting into his game. I think that was a disadvantage for me. But it’s a lesson.
“I enjoyed this one very much because this was a challenge for me. I got my first eight-count in ONE Championship. It’s a lesson for me. Each fight is a lesson for me, and I think I’m getting better with each fight. This experience was good for me.”
Regian Eersel Open to Muay Thai Or Special Rules Fights
While an immediate rematch with Arian Sadikovic isn’t out of the question, Regian Eersel would also be interested in a unique change of pace.
“The Immortal” can be counted among those willing to give it a go – whether it’s dabbling in MMA or donning smaller 4-ounce gloves in a Muay Thai clash.
“I think I would be open to [fighting in a mixed-rules bout], yes. And if they give me the opportunity [to compete in Muay Thai], why not?”
Regardless of the sport, Eersel will surely have a host of options available.
A showdown with legendary Italian-Armenian kickboxer Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan at featherweight is also within the realm of possibility.
Moreover, ONE Championship features a wide range of mixed martial artists who would surely test their stand-up against one of the greatest strikers in the world.
Whatever his future holds, “The Immortal” promises to be ready – especially if any challengers come for his throne.
“I’m just looking to defend my belt. So that’s the main focus. I’m not looking at the division right now. I’m just focusing on myself, you know. If I get a name, then I will focus on the opponent. So it doesn’t really matter, you know, give me someone and I’m ready.
“I definitely feel at home here in [ONE Championship]. I’m making of history, you know. I’ve been [unbeaten] for six years and now 19 fights. So I hope I can continue that as long as possible.”