Steve Maclin On Winning The Impact World Title: 'I Was Never The Chosen One'

After becoming the longest reigning Impact World Champion, Josh Alexander was forced to relinquish the title at the 335-day mark after tearing his triceps. With the title vacated, the promotion crowned a new champion this past Sunday night at Rebellion when Steve Maclin defeated KUSHIDA in a hard-hitting match. 

Now, the former Forgotten Son aims to be forgotten no more since he's now the new face of Impact Wrestling.

In an interview with "Sports Illustrated" following his championship victory, the United States Marine Corps veteran who served two tours in Afghanistan, said that he's finally living his dream. He shared that his experience in the military taught him "the importance of earning life" since many of his fellow soldiers didn't make it back to pursue their dreams. But now Maclin gets to relish in the fact that his hard work paid off.

"From dirt holes in Afghanistan to winning the Impact world title, this is something I'll hold on to," said the new champion. "I was never a chosen one. I came to Impact and I've worked my a*s off. I kept my head down, I kept grinding, and this is only the beginning. The easy work is over. Now the head work begins. Whether you believe in me or not, I'm out there proving people wrong. That's the way it's always been, and it's not going to change now."

In addition to his own accomplishments at the event, Maclin and his household get to celebrate another massive title win. With champion Mickie James not medically cleared to defend her title at the show, Maclin's wife and Impact star Deonna Purrazzo defeated her long-time rival Jordynne Grace to capture the vacant Impact Knockouts Championship. With these two milestone wins, the husband and wife reign atop their respective divisions with pride.