Regian Eersel has been the ONE Lightweight Kickboxing World Champion since claiming the inaugural belt in 2019, outmaneuvering a trio of tough challengers along the way.
While the man behind the mask was ready to put his belt on the line again, he didn’t expect to face Sadikovic just yet.
Eersel saw “Game Over” sizing him up when they competed in their respective bouts during the ONE: WINTER WARRIORS event series last December, but he was unfamiliar with the ONE Championship newcomer.
The Dutch-Surinamese superstar told ONEFC.com:
“[In December] I saw him [at the event], and he was looking at me like, ‘I’m going to get you next time.’ I was like, ‘Who is this guy looking at me like he’s going to fight me?’”
After his impressive victory in that debut appearance, Sadikovic was granted the next World Title shot.
The German is known for his hulking build, although he is several centimeters shorter than Eersel. Moreover, he focuses primarily on punching, which could leave him vulnerable to the World Champion’s damaging kicks.
For his part, Eersel expects to capitalize on any openings.
“I do not think this fight will go the distance. He has a lot of holes in his style. I think I am going to [find them]. It’s not that he is not good at some points, but when you [try to] put pressure on the opponent, you also open yourself up. I think I’m going to use this to my advantage.”Eersel on weaknesses he sees in Sadikovic
In his ONE debut, “Game Over” used his boxing experience to defeat Mustapha “Dynamite” Haida, who previously challenged for Eersel’s belt.
The German hunted for Haida’s liver and then folded him with a thudding body shot that came close to finishing the contest.
His style will be a change of pace for the lightweight kickboxing king, who’s recently competed against athletes who focus more on speed and precision.
“I am excited for this fight. I know he’s a little bit smaller than me, [but he’s] a boxer who puts pressure on his opponents [and has] a good aggressive style.”
Of course, “The Immortal” will be incredibly difficult to dethrone.
He’s riding an 18-fight winning streak, owns a sparking 57-4 professional record, and hasn’t lost since 2016.
The Sityodtong Amsterdam representative also has 25 knockouts on his resume, with many of them coming from one of his sharpest weapons.
“My strength is in the power of my knee [strikes]. Also, my [fight] intelligence. While I’m fighting, I can adapt to my opponent. I have almost another person inside me that is full of aggression. And yeah, it comes out in the ring. When I’m in there, I’m just in kill mode. [At that point] you just do what you have been taught in the training.”Eersel breaks down his mentality in the Circle
While the humble athlete usually allows his actions to do the talking, he’s confident that this matchup with “Game Over” won’t go the distance.
“We will end by knockout. I’m not one to say things that will happen in the future, but I will do it easy in the third round.”
Eersel Striving For Status As ‘Legendary’ Fighter
At one point in his career, Regian Eersel delivered nine KO/TKO finishes in a row. However, all of his recent wins have come by decision – something he’s not so pleased with.
“The Immortal” said in a recent interview:
“It has been three or four years since [I beat someone by] knockout, so this time I want to win by KO.”
Eersel’s most recent victory over Islam Murtazaev at ONE: WINTER WARRIORS came via split decision, a first for the Dutch-Surinamese striker in his nearly decade-long professional career.
While it wasn’t “The Immortal’s” favorite performance, he used the experience to grow and improve for his upcoming World Title defense against Sadikovic.
It’s a chance to continue his lengthy reign atop the lightweight kickboxing division – and an opportunity to further establish himself as an all-time great.
“I still would like to reach that level of fighting where I can put on a legendary fight that people will talk about for years to come.”