Anissa Meksen (95-3, 30 KO’s) did not get where she is today by accident. GLORY Kickboxing’s sole female champion is one of the most active fighters in her sport and has fought long and hard to reach the spot she currently occupies.
Meksen won the title from former champion Tiffany van Soest at GLORY 48 NEW YORK this past December. Now she’s preparing to make her first defense of that belt as she faces fellow French female Amel Dehby (29-1, 11 KO’s) at GLORY 53 LILLE.
“She’s good but I don’t see anything that really impresses me,” says Meksen of her first challenger.
“Dehby primarily has a boxing style. Myself, I adapt to all styles. The only gray area really is the weight: she’s a girl who walks around at 60 kg (132 lbs) and I walk around at 52! We are going to fight at 55kg but that’s not really my preferred weight. But OK. Other than that I have no fears.
“Of course I see myself winning. I take all my opponents very seriously because I know mine is the head that everyone is aiming at. I am wearing the crown. Because of that I train harder and harder for each fight because I fought very hard to get where I am.
“Believe me, I have no intention of losing my place.”
Meksen’s record speaks for itself. She’s been a dominant force in her division and that has led to her name being prominent in talks about pound-for-pound best female strikers. It’s an honor she is happy to accept.
“For the last three or four years I’ve been talked of as the pound for pound best female kickboxer and its a great pride for me,” she says.
“And to be honest there are no other girls I see who are fighting as often as me and have so many great victories. So I think this honorary title [of pound for pound best] is deserved.”
Of course it won’t only be an honorary title on the line in Lille next month. Meksen’s world championship, the most prestigious belt in kickboxing, is the prize in question.
She has no doubts she will successfully defend it and, therefore, she is prepared to think what might come after the May 12 defense.
“The first goal is to keep the belt,” she says. “After that? I would like Glory to open a division at my natural weight, 53.5 kg (117 lbs) and then be the first female to have two belts in two divisions and be able to defend them.
Do I think after GLORY 53 it could be a good idea to stage a tournament to find a new challenger? Yes, I think it could be.”
GLORY 53 LILLE takes place Saturday May 12 at the Zenith de Lille.
The card features two title fights: Meksen’s defense against Dehby and lightweight champion Sitthichai defending his title against rising young Dutch star Tyjani Beztati.