“I know how to get to him, how to dictate my rules, how to be the boss in the ring,” said Dmitry Menshikov ahead of his upcoming battle with two-sport ONE Championship titleholder “The Immortal” Regian Eersel. “I want him to play by my rules.”
The heavy-handed Russian is confident he will have no issue in the ONE Fight Night 11 main event.
The Dutch-Surinamese fighter Regian Eersel has captured ONE’s lightweight Muay Thai and kickboxing world titles. He is one of the few athletes in history to earn global acclaim across two different sports. Additionally, the 30-year-old fighter is on an impressive 21-fight winning streak going back to 2016.
But for the 25-year-old Dmitry Menshikov, it makes no difference. While speaking to ONE Championship in an interview he explained:
I consider [Regian Eersel] one of the best fighters in the world. I think he has already proved it by taking the belt in kickboxing in such an organization as ONE Championship, as well as in Muay Thai. And [he did it] despite the fact he is a basic kickboxer. In my career, I have met top and very strong fighters, and I don’t think Eersel is any better or stronger than them. He is just a fighter like all the rest. I don’t see anything special about him.
Russia’s Menshikov is on a hot streak of his own. Currently, he is on an exceptional 11-fight winning streak with over half of these matches being won by way of knockout. The Prokopyevsk-born striker explained that he is ready to capture ONE gold via knockout or over a full five-round decision. Menshikov added:
I actually don’t bet either on a knockout or a judges’ decision. Yes, I have the KO power. I know how to hit and reach him, but I also have a plan for a five-round fight in case of a prolonged fight. I’m going to win in both cases. I’m going to stop his winning streak.
Menshikov will get to challenge for the ONE Lightweight Muay Thai World Title against the highly skilled Regian Eersel in the ONE Fight Night 11 main event. This event is booked for Jun. 8 at 8 p.m. ET. Based on where he is born, the Russian athlete believes he is built differently, and it will show in the fight. He said:
I want to take the belt both in Muay Thai and kickboxing. I want to deprive him of all his titles and take them for myself. This will be a huge victory for myself, my family, and my city.
Strength of Prokopyevsk, Russia
While many young athletes had side jobs to reach their goals, Dmitry Menshikov has been in combat sports for his entire life. Originally from Prokopyevsk, Russia, his only options were sports or coal mining. The 25-year-old striker holds pride in this fact. Speaking to ONE in an interview, he said:
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. 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.
Most notably, former GLORY Kickboxing light heavyweight champion Artem Vakhitov is also from Prokopyevsk. According to Menshikov, the harsh environment is exactly what built men like himself and Vakhitov. He explained:
Fighters here are harsh, with character. They have seen a lot, and that’s why they produce spectacular fights. 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.
While the 25-year-old skilled Russian will be fighting thousands of miles away from home in Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Thailand for Muay Thai gold, Menshikov’s thoughts are with his home. He concluded with:
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.
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