Nicolas Dalby opens up about career highs & lows
There are few faces and names more synonymous with Cage Warriors and European MMA than Nicolas “Lokomotivo” Dalby.
The Dane made his debut in Cage Warriors back in 2014, winning the welterweight title and defending it before moving on to the UFC. Since then Dalby has been through the toughest moments in his life so far but he battled through them and made it out the other side. He has since returned to Cage Warriors as a new and improved “Lokomotivo”. Nicolas Dalby 2.0 has come back to Cage Warriors, made his way back to the top and is now looking to become a two-time Cage Warriors welterweight champion.
“I actually feel like Cage Warriors is my home away from home… just being around the crew and the event itself is a great feeling.”
Dalby has returned to Cage Warriors after a run in the UFC. He was undefeated when entering the UFC octagon for the first time and he left the with a record of 14-3-1, including a majority draw with Darren Till. After taking a break from MMA and undergoing a period of immense difficulty, Dalby returned to CW in April, 2018.
“That was me basically getting to the point where I acknowledged that if I wanted to live out the dream I wanted to, I had to act now instead of waiting. I had a kind of epiphany and I started doing what I needed to do to get back.”
Dalby has been very open about his own struggles with mental health in his time, but believes he is a stronger man and fighter now because of what he went through.
“In that year-year and a half that I was out I felt like I gained 10 years of life experience and 10 years of knowledge about myself. So, for sure I feel much stronger and more focused and just on top of everything. I’m able to handle the stress more, so I feel like I’m able to handle everything in my life more after coming through this rough patch.”
We have seen the results of this first hand in Cage Warriors with Dalby looking sharper than ever, picking up three wins in a row on his road to the title.
“It is a sport and a business where the highs are really high and the lows can be equally low. So, I think it’s a good thing to be able to openly talk about mental health issues and how you deal with coming off a loss or a fight, and feeling down and stuff like that.”
He is the current welterweight interim champion after defeating Alex Lohore at Cage Warriors 103 in Copenhagen. Dalby said that he believes the level of competition has increased significantly since the last time he was in Cage Warriors though the Lohore fight was not what he expected.
“Actually, I expected a tougher fight. Don’t get me wrong Lohore is good, but from what I’d seen on video I expected to get hurt more. I probably expected it to be more of a war.”.
After winning the interim title, Dalby will take on Ross Houston at Cage Warriors 106: Night of Champions to unify the welterweight titles. The fight has been building for some time with Houston and Dalby going back and forth on social media for a few months.
“I think it originated with Ross being a bit arrogant and thinking the fight was already settled before we’ve fought it. That seems weird for a guy who has so many holes in his game.”
Houston is undefeated with a record of 8-0 and this will be his first title defence since taking the belt from Stefano Paterno in the Cage Warriors 2018 fight of the year. Houston’s aim is to beat Dalby and show he is ready for the UFC, though “Lokomotivo” does not rate “The Hitman” that highly amongst the other opponents he has faced.
“Well, we’ll see once I’m in the cage because one thing is judging somebody off of a video and one thing is actually fighting them. So take this with the fact that I haven’t actually fought him yet but on paper I’d say he’s not even top three, he might creep into the top five but he’s not top three, that’s for sure.
“I’m fighting on probably the biggest fight card Cage Warriors has ever put on so being on the Night of Champions is amazing. Being awarded the main event as well speaks volumes about how important this fight is for me especially with the UFC coming to Copenhagen a couple months after.”
Nicolas Dalby has battled through the lowest lows of his career in recent years but has emerged more focused and stronger than ever. Now coming to take back what was once his, Dalby is on a one-man mission to redeem himself and become a Cage Warriors champion once again. Can he return to the top of the mountain or is it Ross Houston’s time to ascend? We will find out at Cage Warriors 106: Night of Champions when the welterweight title is unified.
Nicolas Dalby will challenge Ross Houston to unify the Cage Warriors welterweight title in the main event of Cage Warriors 106: Night of Champions on the 29th June at the Eventim Apollo, London.