The ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Champion Regian Eersel will be challenging himself at ONE on Prime Video 3 on October 21 in a new sport. ‘The Immortal' will be looking to make history as a two-sport world champion as he challenges for the inaugural ONE Muay Thai Lightweight World Championship against the Thai-born knockout artist Sinsamut Klinmee.
The Dutch-Surinamese fighter has already put together an impressive legacy in Kickboxing. He has defended his Lightweight crown in four bouts and defeated fighters such as Nieky Holzken, Anthony Njokuani, Brad Riddell, Arian Sadiković, and many others.
Ahead of his World Championship Muay Thai fight on October 21, Regian Eersel sat down in an exclusive interview with Timothy Wheaton of Beyond Kickboxing.
Exclusive Interview with Regian Eersel
Congratulations on your world title defense against Arian Sadiković! This was a tough fight. It was an exciting fight! How did you feel about this win?
Wow, it was a difficult fight. I had to dig very deep because I got the eight-count in the second round. But, I don’t like losing, I had to put the gas pedal all the way to the floor. And I did! Luckily I won. And I showed the world why I’m the champion. I was feeling very good after the fight. I enjoyed the fight also. It was a good fight!
Upcoming at ONE on Prime Video 3 on October 21 you’re fighting Sinsamut Klinmee for the inaugural ONE Muay Thai Lightweight World Championship. Do you have a prediction for this fight?
Yes, I’ll fight Sinsamut for the vacant Muay Thai World Title. My only prediction is I don’t think we’re going to make the fifth round. That’s my prediction. And I hope I will be standing there and he’s laying on the floor.
Speaking of standing, you don’t take the stool in between rounds. For this interview, I stayed standing the whole time specifically for you, no sitting. Tell me the philosophy of avoiding the stool in-between rounds.
The philosophy comes from way back in my training. When I do my practice rounds we don’t take the stool. Actually, my first fight was in America, they offered me the chair and I was like, ‘No, I’m not going to sit down, I’m used to standing in between the rounds.’ Now it’s a habit to not sit down.
You’ve also said fighters shouldn’t fight with emotions. Can you elaborate on what this means?
I don’t take it literally but you need to keep your emotions under control. You can fight with anger and that sort of stuff but don't let it control you. Because if you let it control you then you’re going to make mistakes. I experienced that feeling. Emotions took over and I made really bad mistakes in the fight. But I won the fight. But when I look back, it was not good. We have to contain our emotions and let some things out. Just keep emotions under control. I fight with emotion but keep it under control otherwise I’ll make mistakes.
Where do you see yourself five years, or ten years, from now, where do you see yourself?
Five or ten years from now I think, I hope the people will see me as a living legend by then. Because of what I’ve accomplished. I hope I will put on very great fights for the fans. When they see me, I want them to say, 'Oh man, that’s a very good fighter did you watch his fight against this guy and his fight against that guy. He’s legendary.’ I want to be remembered like that.
Looking back you and I can still passionately talk about the K-1 guys and fights in the golden era. You are among those names now. You were inspired by K-1, and now you are inspiring the next generation, the younger people. Hearing that, what does it mean to you?
It feels a little bit strange, of course. I’m in the middle of my career and you don’t really think that you inspire people. But it comes more and more on my page, that I’m an example for the younger generation. I try to teach them if I’m doing podcasts or interviews to do good and chase your dreams. Like I did. And it's important to live life and chase your dreams.
Fan questions for you. Are you moving to Muay Thai because you’ve beaten everyone on the Kickboxing roster?
Nope. I’m moving to Muay Thai because it’s a new challenge for me. I got the opportunity from ONE Championship to fight for the vacant Muay Thai World title and I immediately said yes. I like challenges, life is a challenge. Without the challenge, you don’t live. You have to challenge yourself and I’m doing that right now.
One more fan question for you, what fight did you have the most fun?
I think my last fight against Arian. If you saw the fight, we were talking to each other, ‘come on, man, hit harder.' I really enjoyed that fight.