Niclas Larsen

Niclas Larsen: “I believe that the most skilled guys that also bring the best out of me.”

Headlining ONE 158, Niclas Larsen takes on the tough task that is Tawanchai. The Glory veteran has an incredible story of conquest, being torn down, and self discovery. In an incredible return to action in ONE, just getting there was the mission for Larsen. Now, he takes on the Thai legend who trains out of P.K. Saenchai and hopes to get into the swing of things again soon.

Watch the full interview with Niclas Larsen on YouTube above!

To come back at ONE 158, Niclas Larson is just grateful to get the opportunity to fight again. With a new outlook on life, the Dane is thankful to be given this opportunity from ONE Championship and even more grateful to face an opponent like Tawanchai.

“I’m so excited for this big opportunity. Now it’s just getting even more huge. Firstly, to have a fight in ONE and to debut in ONE is big. To fight against an opponent like Tawanchai is amazing. And now to fight the main event, that’s just incredible. I’m so excited. I’m so grateful.”

Niclas Larsen and the path back to fighting

Niclas Larsen made his Glory debut against Andy Ristie in 2013. While Ristie was in his prime, snatching bodies every step he took, Larsen took Ristie the distance. While he didn’t get the win, he is a fighter’s fighter. He took the fight on short notice and learned a lot from the fight.

“I remember my debut in Glory was on 6 days notice against Andy Riste and knocked four guys out. He became the World Champion after he fought me. So I’ve always been good to just say, ‘Well, I’m a fighter. I’m ready.’ Whoever, whenever, I take it as a learning process.”

There was a lot of hype for Niclas Larsen going into that potential rematch with Ristie in the Glory tournament. He was accomplished outside of Glory and Larsen was ready to get back to action.

“I was newly crowned World Champion under WKU. I turned pro and got signed with Glory Kickboxing. I had my debut and they were so excited and I got a fight with Steven Marksen after my debut with Andy Riste. I was back in this tournament.”

Then in 2017, his life changed. Larsen’s leg blew up like a balloon. As a fighter, he fought through the pain. In the initial scan, which was for a broken bone, nothing turned up. But the pain persisted.

“My leg just said, ‘Hell no.’ You need to listen to your body and I remember I had the pain for five days. The pain just got worse and worse. Then I couldn’t stand up. I didn’t get the blood test so they couldn’t see the infection numbers at the hospital. They only checked to see if I had broken my leg or something like that.”

Eventually they did test and his leg was infected massively. “They said, ‘These numbers were not normal and we don’t know if we need to take your leg or do a big operation. We need you to confirm that we can do our job.’ I was just in a pain hell and I told them to do whatever you need I just needed them to take the pain.”

It was then that Niclas Larsen had a low moment. He began to wonder what he was as a person, as a man. He was married with two young kids and fell into a depression, which is warranted to say the least. He almost lost his leg. But he struggled none the less. Larsen made a turning point, however, and decided that fighting wasn’t his identity. Instead, he wanted to be a good person for him and more importantly his family.

“I was still thinking about fighting. It was setting me back. I had to learn to be in the present moment,” said Larsen. “I was just feeling sorry for myself. I was in some kind of depression. I was just sitting still in my own world. Then my environment that gave me so much to love and love me not for the Thai boxer but for the man that I am. My young, they were 4 and 1, they just needed their father. It was some months after when I was in this recovery I was asking myself if this was the person I wanted to be as a role model, as a father and as a husband. Then I just needed to accept where I was and build myself up. Instead of thinking about fighting, I was focused on being in the present and enjoying what was there.”

ONE 158: The Return

So now Niclas Larsen is back after five years away. While the rust may be there, he believes that his grit and experience will make the fight enjoyable. Tawanchai is one of the best in the world in the sport of Muay Thai. Larsen has a tough hill to climb. But tough hills are nothing when it comes to the mountains he’s climbed in the past.

“I believe that I can definitely bring something to Tawanchai that he has not met before. I really am coming with passion. I enjoy to fight. I come in the moment. Tawanchai is an amazing fighter. I’m so lucky to have an opponent that can bring something good to this night because I believe that the most skilled guys that also bring the best out of me. I really need to dig in deep and that’s what I want.”

So don’t miss Niclas Larsen’s return to fighting after years out. He takes on Tawanchai on June 3rd at ONE 158. It’s something you don’t want to miss.


In addition to covering the ONE Championship for My MMA News, Blaine Henry, the author, also analyzes fights from all combat sports across the globe. 

Blaine Henry can be found on Twitter, on his podcast, and Patreon.

author avatar
Blaine Henry
Your friendly neighborhood fight fan. I watch way too many fights and my wife lets me know it.