ONE on Prime Video 21 Main Event Breakdown

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Your combat sports weekend for the first week of April is loaded. After the PFL opens its new season with a pair of heavyweight MMA fights at the top of the main card on Thursday in San Antonio, the action shifts to Thailand on Friday night (US time), where it’ll already be Saturday morning.

Following another edition of ONE Friday Fights on Friday morning inside North America, primetime brings ONE on Prime Video 21 from the same Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok. As is now customary, this card from ONE Championship will be streamed inside the United States and Canada on Amazon Prime Video at 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT.

For our audience inside the United Kingdom and Ireland, the event will be known as ONE Fight Night 21 and will be aired on Sky Sports Saturday morning at 1 am local time. All told, absent of any cancelled fights between now and Friday, 10 fights will be held across the combative disciplines.

Lightweight Kickboxing Gold at Stake Friday in ONE on Prime Video 21 Main Event

Highlighting the night’s activities is a lightweight (170 lbs.) kickboxing title fight in your main event of the evening. Current champion Regian Eersel (61-4 kickboxing, 10-0 ONE Championship) defends the title for the fifth time when he meets challenger Alexis Nicolas (23-0 kickboxing, 1-0 ONE Championship).

As with all kickboxing championship fights, the ONE on Prime Video 21 main event is an advertised five rounds at three minutes per round to close the show. The three-knockdown rule is in effect for this contest. Should a fighter knock down his adversary three times in the course of a round or four times in the course of the bout as a whole, that contestant will win the fight by TKO.

ONE on Prime Video 21 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds

Heading into the ONE on Prime Video 21 main event on Friday night, Regian Eersel stands as the taller man at 6-foot-2, with Alexis Nicolas standing at six feet even. Champion Eersel owns a 78-inch reach, with no such information accessible for Nicolas at press time.

Currently, the oddsmakers have Regian Eersel installed as a -520 betting favorite, while Alexis Nicolas counters as a +350 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.

Eersel Owes Success to Coaches

Champion Regian Eersel has gone 5-0 in his last five fights as part of an ongoing 22-fight winning streak. In order to find the last time that he left the ring on the losing end of a match, you’d have to go all the way back to March 18, 2016, when he dropped a decision to Matous Kohout in Heroes Gate 16.

In more recent times, Eersel scored a first-round knockout with a left hook against Dmitry Menshikov (29-3 kickboxing, 2-1 ONE Championship) in ONE on Prime Video 11 last June to defend the promotion’s lightweight Muay-Thai championship. He hasn’t gotten to this point in his career by his lonesome.

Recently, Eersel talked to ONE about the relationship he has with his coaches, who he’s known since the age of 15.

“They are like my second family,” Eersel began. “They’re like fathers to me. I have three fathers now. We have a good connection. We talk about almost everything and they have their heart in a good place. I trust them with my life. That’s the kind of relationship we have.”

Eersel has yet to lose under the ONE Championship banner, but a tough challenger awaits him and his coaches over the weekend. What kind of a gameplan have they put together for their fighter?

Alexis Nicolas Had to Fight Early

In the other corner, challenger Alexis Nicolas has yet to lose thus far in his kickboxing life, going 23-0. Back in January, he made his ONE Championship promotional debut with a unanimous decision over Magomed Magomedov during ONE Friday Fights 47.

Nicolas is already a champion in kickboxing, having scored the ISKA World Super-Middleweight Championship last November, finishing Ioannis Bitsios with a knockout (head kick) in round two. While he’s undefeated as a pro, he had to pick up pugilism from an early age after escaping from his dad’s aggressiveness, something he mentioned in a recent interview.

“At the beginning, I was not a sporty kind of guy,” Nicolas said. “Very reserved and super timid, but I had a lot of rage in me. My friends actually told me to have an outlet for my violence and proposed I go to a boxing gym next to my house. I was 14 years old, and that’s how I got started.”

Alexis Nicolas is a man who had to grow up early in his life and his career as a competitor has been unblemished up to this stage. Can he knock Regian Eersel off his perch and become just the second man ever to win the ONE Lightweight Kickboxing Championship?

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

It’s a classic strength versus strength battle in the ONE on Prime Video 21 main event on Friday. Who wins the day?

Regian Eersel Has One-Punch Power

Champion Regian Eersel can close the show with one crisp strike. Just look at the tape of his last fight versus Dmitry Menshikov.

While the fighters traded strikes, Eersel landed a left hook to drop Menshikov, who struggled to rise to his feet. Even though Menshikov stood back up, referee Olivier Coste waved off the contest in 46 seconds.

All Regian Eersel has to do to remain a two-sport champion after the ONE on Prime Video 21 main event is land one punch right on the button. If the first shot from Eersel finds a home, it could be game, set and match right from the jump.

Alexis Nicolas Can Make Anyone Quit

In the other corner, Alexis Nicolas is explosive in his own right. One need look no further than his Muay-Thai Grand Prix fight against Aaron Slimane.

During the first round, after already knocking Slimane down with a right-handed punch, Nicolas unloaded with a barrage of shots to put Slimane against the ropes, with referee Scott Robinson accidentally putting Nicolas on the mat for a moment.

After a restart, Nicolas landed another right hand and Robinson wisely called a halt to the fight. Look for Alexis Nicolas to showcase the full arsenal of his weaponry in the ONE on Prime Video 21 main event on Friday. If Nicolas mixes up his strikes, he’ll leave Bangkok as the new champion.

Final Thoughts

The ONE on Prime Video 21 main event on Friday night looks to be among the best fights you’ll see the whole weekend. Only time will tell if it lives up to the hype.

Prediction: Alexis Nicolas by First-Round Knockout. 

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about combat sports since May of 2018, coming to MMASucka after stints at Overtime Heroics and Armchair All-Americans. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew is a charter member of the Youngstown Press Club. Prior to beginning his professional career, Drew was a sportswriter for YSU's student-run newspaper, The Jambar, where he supplied Press Box Perspective columns every week.

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