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Nico Carrillo Claims He Hasn’t Yet Hit His Prime After TKO Win Over Saemapetch



Nico Carrillo claims he hasn’t hit his peak despite compiling a winning streak against some of the beset muay thai has to offer.

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Carrillo left yet another veteran in his wake with a second-round TKO win over Saemapetch Fairtex in the co-main event at ONE on Prime Video 23. The Scotsman knocked Saemapetch down twice before scoring the final knockdown to secure the finish. Carrillo admitted that he faced initial difficulty with Saemapetch’s unorthodox defense but was sure of securing the finish once he had made the necessary adjustments.

“I'm not surprised [at Saemapetch’s durability]. I think he had a bit of a weird tactic,” Carrillo said at the post-fight press conference. “He was ducking his head when I was coming in close, and I had to readjust to that, because it was taking the power out of my shots. That was a bit strange. But after I readjusted, yeah, I knew he wasn't going to be able to take the shots.”

This marked the second consecutive TKO win over a muay thai standout for Carrillo after knocking out former champ Nong-O Gaiyanghadao in December 2023. While Carrillo knows his meteoric rise to muay thai stardom already stands out, the 25-year-old claims the best of him is yet to come.

“Yeah, I'm still improving, [even] in this fight camp alone,” he said. “I’m a new fighter compared to seven months ago, when I fought Nong-O. That shows how much I'm improving [I’ve done] in a space of one fight camp. I was inactive for five to three months because of surgery. So I only went back in for 10 weeks, maybe. So in 10 weeks, not even in 10 weeks, six weeks, I've improved so much, and I don't believe I'm in my prime yet. I don't think I'll be at my prime until I'm like 27-28. You should still see the best of Nico [to come], and I'm like fine wine.”

With his victory, Carrillo also made a strong case for the next bantamweight title shot against the winner of the upcoming title clash between Jonathan Haggerty and Superlek at ONE Championship 168 in September. Carrillo prefers Haggerty as an opponent just because he wants to be the one to dethrone the Brit.

“I would prefer to fight Haggerty, not because he's better or anything,” Carrillo said. “I would just like to be the one to take the belt from him.”
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