After a three-fight win streak, Nicolas Dalby (17-3-1) reclaimed his spot at the top end of the Cage Warriors welterweight division capturing the interim title with a fourth-round TKO finish over Alex Lahore.
The 34-year-old veteran admitted that the fight didn’t go how he and the team thought it would.
“We didn’t quite expect it to go as it went, but you know, we were prepared for every scenario, and I executed.”
“When I watched it back on the replay at the post-fight interview I was like kinda freaking out and amazed at how how vicious it was.”
Training with John Kavanagh and Gunnar Nelson
Dalby told The Body Lock that he had been training a lot with both UFC welterweight Gunnar Nelson and Straight Blast Gym head coach John Kavanagh.
“I spent 14 days in Iceland doing MMA sparring with the Gunnar Nelson and a bunch of the other guys from SBG Dublin.”
“Lokomotivo” continued, “I saw the Joe Rogan podcast with John Kavanagh and was like, okay, it’s time to go and train with this guy because he seems super like the kind of culture I want.”
“It was amazing. Like they had a lot of guys from the Dublin gym come up to Iceland. So we were almost kind of isolated for 14 days just sparring every day and getting to know, learn from John and the other guys. It was an amazing experience. Lovely bunch of people. Really skilled.”
Dalby feels like he has already benefited since working with coach Kavanagh and his fighters.
“I really learned a lot, especially with Gunnies wrestling coach. We had some technical sessions with him which kind of improved my game 100% in one hour. I felt like a beast. ”
The return to Cage Warriors
“Once I decided to return to fighting, it seems like a no brainer for me to sign with Cage Warriors. They’ve always treated me good and so I have a good relationship with them. So, that just felt like a natural step and in the direction that would lead me towards the goals I have.”
Nicolas said that claiming of the welterweight interim title at Cage Warriors 103 was quite the “De Ja Vu experience.”
“One thing as I maybe mentioned in the post-fight interview was kind of like a De Ja Vu experience because if it had been 14 days later this event that had been on the exact same day as the last time Cage Warriors was in Copenhagen five years ago. But not only that, I won, I finished the fight by knockout, and I finished the fight in the same round, and it was for the same title… The amount of coincidence is mind-blowing.”
“It’s amazing to fight in front of the Danish crowd, the Danish fans. So many people came to support and enjoy the fights. That was incredible.”
“On fight night I really felt like the fans made their presence heard.” Dalby continued.
In February last year, Dalby detailed his battles with depression and alcoholism in a post on Instagram. Now, however, Dalby has moved past these issues and considers himself in an improved mental space.
“I think that’s the reason I’m able to be so open about it, because I’m on the opposite side of it.”
The welterweight continued, “I have understood what was going on. It was quite difficult to talk about actually, not because I didn’t want to when it was going on, but mostly because they didn’t really understand what’s going on. And then it just seems like there’s a lot of people getting inspiration from me being open about it and that’s what I take as a huge compliment, and it is a part of my story.”
The road back to the UFC
With a win this past weekend, Dalby increased his winning streak to three, all of which have come in the last six months.
“Being 34, I might have a limited amount of years left in my career. So getting back to the UFC sooner than later, that would be nice. But, with this interim title comes, of course, a unification bout with Ross Houston. I am absolutely game for that fight. If the UFC picks me up before that. That’s amazing. But I’m ready to rumble with Ross.”
Dalby compared the fighting skills of himself from now to five years back.
“I felt physically good. When I won the title on Saturday, I felt like I did five years ago.”
“I have no chronic injuries lingering. I have yet to be knocked out in sparring and in a fight. So, you know, it’s not like I’ve taken a high amount of damage to my brain, so that’s also good. And like mental health is better than ever. So I feel good all round. I feel like I’m in a good place, so I’m ready to just keep the pedal to the floor and give it everything I have for however long it lasts.”
You can listen to the full interview below to learn more about Nicolas Dalby’s story.