Dmitry Menshikov might be a new face in ONE Championship, but the hard-hitting striker has worked his entire career for the opportunity in front of him.
The 25-year-old will challenge dominant two-sport king Regian Eersel for the ONE Lightweight Muay Thai World Title in his promotional debut at ONE Fight Night 11 on Prime Video, and he fully expects to get the job done on Friday, June 9.
Although Eersel is riding an incredible 21-fight winning streak, Menshikov will also come into this contest in red-hot form.
The promotional newcomer has put together an impressive 11-fight unbeaten run of his own, and with so much momentum, he readily accepted a matchup with the seemingly unstoppable titleholder at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Russian told ONEFC.com:
“ONE Championship is the best organization in the world where all the best and top fighters are gathered. I think everyone dreams of getting into this organization, and this has also been my goal to get there and win the belt.
“I was offered the title bout in my debut, and I immediately agreed. I don’t have any feelings except confidence. I want to prove that I’m number one.”
While this World Title challenge of Eersel might look like a daunting task to outsiders, Menshikov is not overawed by the prospect.
He’s already faced some top operators in big organizations, and while he has plenty of respect for the defending king, he doesn’t see specific attributes that stand out.
The Empire Club and Kuzbass Muay Thai representative said:
“I consider [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.”
With a 27-2 professional record – including 19 knockout wins – Dmitry Menshikov has earned his reputation as a fearless and aggressive competitor.
Now, he expects to continue that success in ONE Championship and end Regian Eersel’s reign of dominance in the lightweight striking ranks.
Moreover, the confident challenger believes he can fully impose his game plan to either stop “The Immortal” early or take control of a five-round war.
“I know how to get to him, how to dictate my rules, how to be the boss in the ring. I want him to play by my rules.
“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.”
It would be massive for Menshikov’s career if he can become the first man to topple “The Immortal” in ONE, but he wouldn’t be content with just that.
Instead, the Prokopyevsk native is gunning for complete dominance in the organization, which also includes claiming Eersel’s ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Title and winning gold in other divisions.
“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.
“But I’m not going to stop there. I will have to defend these belts. I will have to train more, work harder, and also take belts in other weight classes as well.”