5 Burning Questions Heading Into ONE Fight Night 11: Eersel Vs. Menshikov
There are some epic battles lined up for ONE Fight Night 11: Eersel vs. Menshikov on Prime Video this Friday, June 9, and the results could completely alter a fighter’s career trajectory.
From the most dominant World Champions on the global stage to the rising stars who are looking to break into the top-five rankings, every matchup has its own storyline and intrigue.
Nobody knows how the action will play out at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, but that hasn’t stopped fans from wondering where the outcomes may lead.
With that in mind, here are five of the biggest questions heading into ONE Championship’s upcoming U.S. primetime event this Friday night.
#1 Can Anybody Stop Regian Eersel?
Two-sport ONE World Champion Regian Eersel has won 21 fights in a row against some of the best strikers on the planet, and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down.
This Friday, “The Immortal” returns to defend his Muay Thai crown for the second time, as he goes toe-to-toe with Dmitry Menshikov in the main event. However, the challenger also brings an incredible run of form with him to the ring.
The Russian slugger is riding an 11-bout winning streak and although he has faced some stern opposition along the way, he hasn’t taken on anybody like the Dutch-Surinamese lightweight king.
Eersel combines his relentless aggression and power with the conditioning to push the pace for five hard rounds, and that’s a scary prospect for anybody who steps up and tries to snatch away his gold.
But, forged in the harsh Siberian winter, Menshikov sincerely believes he is the man to finally derail the train. His heavy hands give him a serious chance, but it will still take a majestic effort to usurp the Sityodtong Amsterdam standout.
#2 Is Tommy Langaker The Man To Trouble Kade Ruotolo?
While Kade Ruotolo hasn’t yet built the same body of work in The Home of Martial Arts as Eersel, the American prodigy has made a solid start.
Ruotolo has a trio of dominant victories in the world’s largest martial arts organization, and he has won and defended the ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling World Championship without being troubled. But Tommy Langaker could be his toughest test yet.
The Norwegian has picked up two victories on the global stage so far. In his most recent battle this past February, he submitted former World Title challenger Uali Kurzhev with an inside heel hook – the same method Ruotolo used to beat the Russian for the division’s inaugural belt in October 2022.
Both men are respectful of one another, but the reigning king admits there is an existing tension between them, and that has made the American even more determined to defeat Langaker decisively in Bangkok.
#3 How Will Superbon Respond To World Title KO Loss?
Any defeat is a bitter pill to swallow for an elite athlete, but losing the ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Title via KO was an even bigger setback for Superbon Singha Mawynn.
Not everyone is capable of bouncing back from that kind of loss. However, the Thai superstar has proven his mental strength in similar situations before.
Superbon was knocked out by Marat Grigorian back in 2018, but then, he went on an epic 12-fight winning streak that culminated with a redemption victory over the Hemmers Gym representative in 2022.
The Dutch-Turkish whirlwind also wants to make a statement in this match. He knows defeating Superbon would be the biggest victory of his career and could easily catapult him into the World Title picture, so don’t expect “Turbine” to give anything away to the former featherweight kickboxing ruler.
#4 Can These Three Strikers Turn Their Fortunes Around?
Several other fighters have added baggage coming into ONE Fight Night 11, but they have a chance to set things right on June 9.
Nieky Holzken wants to show that age is just a number by claiming a ONE World Title, but first, he needs to rebound from a stoppage loss to Sinsamut Klinmee when he squares off against German heavy hitter Arian Sadikovic.
Guto Inocente gave Rade Opacic the only blemish on his ONE slate so far, stopping the Serbian behemoth with a body shot last year. But with a solid 5-1 promotional record and 100 percent finishing rate, the KBKS man knows redemption could earn him a shot at heavyweight kickboxing gold.
And now based at the world-famous Bad Company gym in Leeds, Amber Kitchen is ready to change her fortunes from close decision losses to emphatic victories. Confident in her skills and power, she thinks she can get the job done against multi-time ISKA Kickboxing World Champion Martine Michieletto.
Can these three strikers change their stars and return to the winner’s circle on Friday?
#5 Will New World Title Challengers Emerge?
A few athletes could stake their claim for a shot at ONE World Title gold in multiple divisions at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium.
Third-ranked featherweight MMA contender Ilya Freymanov wants to build off his knockout victory over former two-division king Martin Nguyen and challenge for the belt. But Shinechagtga Zoltsetseg‘s iron fists could dash his hopes and, in the process, help the Mongolian crack the top-five rankings.
If either of the slick strikers can impress in “The Land of Smiles,” then ONE Bantamweight World Champion Fabricio Andrade could be in their sights.