Regian Eersel (ONE Championship)

ONE Fight Night 21: Eersel vs. Nicolas Preview and Predictions

Friday night, April 5, will represent the latest installment of ONE Championship’s Prime Video series as the multi-sport promotion returns to Lumpinee Boxing Stadium. ONE Fight Night 21 features eleven matchups, including Muay Thai (3), MMA (3), kickboxing (2), and submission grappling (2).

In the main event, Regian Eersel returns with a promotional record of 10-0 (seven wins in kickboxing and three in Muay Thai). The two-sport world champion now looks to defend his lightweight kickboxing throne against Alexis Nicolas, who looks to shock the world in his ONE debut.

As for the co-main event, Tye Ruotolo will defend his welterweight submission grappling throne for the first time since becoming the inaugural champion. Standing in the 21-year-old’s way is debutant Izaak Michell, who trains under the highly respected John Danaher.


ONE Fight Night 21 also features Suablack vs Vladimir Kuzmin in Muay Thai, Kade Ruotolo vs Francisco Lo in submission grappling, Ben Tynan’s second promotional MMA fight, and more.

The event aired live on Amazon Prime Video starting at 8 p.m. ET. Let’s take a look at the preview and predictions for ONE Fight Night 21.

Regian Eersel has been unbeatable since signing with ONE Championship? Will he continue his run of world title defenses by retaining his lightweight kickboxing throne against promotional newcomer Alexis Nicolas

Regian Eersel started his ONE tenure with seven consecutive kickboxing wins, including three for the lightweight world title. Since then, ‘The Immortal’ has prioritized Muay Thai and become a 3x world champion. Eersel now returns to kickboxing at ONE Fight Night 21 to defend his throne for the first time since April 2022.

Meanwhile, Alexis Nicolas (23-0) is an undefeated 25-year-old making his ONE debut. The Frenchman has experience in Savate and kickboxing, creating an intriguing fighting style that could be tough for Eersel to prepare for.

At the end of the day, Eersel has showcased world-class striking skills that have made him a nightmare opponent for anyone. Therefore, Nicolas deserves respect heading into the main event, but he won’t have the experience to defeat ‘The Immortal’ or survive to the final bell.

Tye Ruotolo is widely considered one of the most talented jiu-jitsu practitioners on the planet. The 21-year-old’s next test will be against highly-touted debutant Izaak Michell. Can Michell pull off the upset for the welterweight submission grappling world title?

Tye Ruotolo and his twin brother, Kade Ruotolo, have become two of the biggest submission grappling superstars on the planet. At 21 years old, they continue to build their resumes by becoming world champions in ONE and defeating anyone put in their way.

Ruotolo’s first world title defense will be against Izaak Michell, who is respected by many high-level jiu-jitsu practitioners. The question is, can he defeat Ruotolo in his promotional debut to become the new welterweight king?

Grappling results are heavily influenced by scoring criteria, as tournaments/competitions vary in how they determine the winner. Ruotolo will have an advantage because he’s accustomed to how ONE’s matches are scored. Therefore, he should be able to utilize his aggressiveness and retain his throne by unanimous decision.

Suablack is receiving a step-up in competition after starting his ONE tenure with a 5-0 record. Can he continue his impressive run by taking out the streaking Vladimir Kuzmin?

Suablack has fought and won five times under the ONE banner, winning four by KO/TKO. The 27-year-old Thai fighter now looks to secure a bantamweight Muay Thai ranking by making a statement against Vladimir Kuzmin at ONE Fight Night 21.

Kuzmin had a rought start to his promotional run after establishing a 1-2 record. Luckily for him, he’s bounced back with unanimous decision wins against Fabio Reis and Zafer Sayik, leading to an opportunity to potentially take out Suablack and put the division on notice.

Kuzmin gained a lot of experience during his losses against Muangthai and Jonathan Haggerty. With that said, it’ll be tough for him to overcome the relentless pressure and power of Suablack. I’m taking the Thai fighter by second-round knockout.

Which fight is the sleeper matchup on this card?

The sleeper matchup of ONE Fight Night 21 is a catchweight (180 pounds) submission grappling match between Kade Ruotolo and Francisco Lo.

Kade Ruotolo has the potential to become one of the biggest superstars in combat sports. At 21 years old, Ruotolo has won five submission grappling matches in ONE, including four for the lightweight world title, and became the youngest competitor to win ADCC gold.

Before making his MMA debut, Ruotolo returns on Friday for a catchweight matchup against debutant Francisco Lo. The 23-year-old Brazilian isn’t your average promotional newcomer, as he’s won the IBJJF Pan American No-Gi Championship.

Ruotolo vs Lo will be action-packed, high-level, and worth the watch.

Fight Pick
Main Card (Amazon Prime Video, 8 p.m. ET)
LW KB Championship: Regian Eersel vs. Alexis Nicolas Eersel
WW Submission Grappling Championship: Tye Ruotolo vs. Izaak Michell Ruotolo
BW Muay Thai: Suablack vs. Vladimir Kuzmin Suablack
HW MMA: Ben Tynan vs. Duke Didier Tynan
FLW Muay Thai: Jacob Smith vs. Denis Puric Puric
Catchweight (180 pounds) Submission Grappling: Kade Ruotolo vs. Francisco Lo Ruotolo
FLW KB: Dedduanglek vs. Taiki Naito Dedduanglek
WW MMA: Hiroyuki Tetsuka vs. Valmir Da Silva Tetsuka
Catchweight (116 pounds) Muay Thai: Songchainoi vs. Nicolas Leite Silva Songchainoi
BW MMA: Jeremy Pacatiw vs. Wang Shuo Pacatiw