Kickboxing superstar Dmitry Menshikov will make his ONE Championship debut in the headline bout of ONE Fight Night 11 on Jun. 9, where he’ll challenge Regian Eersel for one of his divisional crowns.
However, it won’t be his lightweight kickboxing strap. The Russian star will instead don four-ounce gloves and battle “The Immortal” for the ONE Lightweight Muay Thai World Championship.
Menshikov has been graed with immense success in his career so far, and it seems the 25-year-old was destined for success, given where he’s from.
“I was born in the city of Prokopyevsk, and I’m very proud of it. It’s a small provincial city, where, previously, they mined a lot of coal. But we call it a city of fighters. People mainly do sport, and many fighters started there,” he told ONE.
“There is nothing to do here but sport. We are always on the regimen – training in the morning, daytime sleep, training in the afternoon. We don’t go out anywhere. Don’t rest anywhere. Always training, hard work, and commitment.”
The entire area Menshikov hails from produces outstanding combat sports athletes, and it is in part due to the tireless work ethic that is instilled in the fighters.
No matter the adversity tossed their way, Menshikov says that they are steadfast – it’s simply part of life in Prokopyevsk.
“Fighters here are harsh, with character. They have seen a lot, and that’s why they produce spectacular fights,” Menshikov said.
“We have a harsh winter, temperatures may go down to minus -40 degrees. But we don’t get cold because we warm up in the gym. We are kept warm by the workouts and the screams of our coach.”
Although the striking sensation had his heart set on soccer when he was a youngster, he quickly changed his mind when stepped foot into a gym for the first time.
“As a child, I always heard talks about Muay Thai and kickboxing and the well-known top fighters from our city. It was in all the talks, and I think that’s why I later joined it,” Menshikov stated.
“Initially, I played football, but my father wanted me to do martial arts. We had a talk, and we decided I would start.”
“I remember I didn’t want to do it that much. I wanted to continue playing football. But as soon as I entered the gym, I understood I belonged there at once, and I immediately gave up on football and dove into this.”
Just like the greats that preceded him, Menshikov’s dedication to martial arts led him to greatness.
With an 11-bout winning streak under his belt, the Russian star is planning to make his city and country proud when he debuts on ONE’s global stage. And after the final bell sounds, he hopes to bring back 26 pounds of gold.
“After I entered the gym with my coach, Vitaly Viktorovich Miller, I had all opportunities to train, win, stick to a regimen, and do quality training, no problems whatsoever,” Menshikov said.
“The city of Prokopyevsk is the city of champions, and I want to prove to the world that I’m the best. This will be a huge victory for myself, for my family, and my city.”
ONE Fight Night 11 airs on Friday, Jun. 9. The event will be free for all U.S. and Canadian Amazon Prime members beginning at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on Prime Video.
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