Croatia’s Roberto Soldic makes his ONE debut this weekend, and brings with him a sizeable reputation.
Earlier this year he was one of the hottest free agents on the planet, and it is easy to understand why – his record is terrifying. The 27-year old is on a seven-fight unbeaten streak, with an overall 20-3 record – but what really stands out is his method of victory – an incredible 17 of his 20 wins have come via KO or TKO. This man has the hands to end fights in a heartbeat – and that’s what fans love about him.
If you thought Soldic would be handed an easy debut, think again. Welcoming him to ONE will be Murad Ramazanov. 11-0 in MMA, with three impressive wins in ONE, this is a man firmly focussed on derailing a hype train, and making his own push up the rankings.
Despite this baptism of fire, Soldic says he is ready and has a lot of respect for his opponent, but will offer something he will not have seen before.
“You can see that I never choose my opponent, they push me straight away in the fire against a very tough guy,” he said. “I respect him a lot, 11-0, but I can say that he never faced anybody like me. I’m like something different. I’m southpaw, I’m a very dangerous guy, and it’s not going to be easy for him. Also, I don’t have a weight cut. It’s good for me. I feel very, very good, very strong, and I’m always on my weight. I do good performance, a lot of power, good condition, and my mind is there.”
Soldic says Ramazanov is a typical modern, well rounded fighter with the traditional wrestling skills now associated with Dagestani athletes. He also believes he has been fighting a stronger level of competition, and has greater hunger going into the fight.
“He’s also a complete MMA fighter like everyone today. Everybody knows jiu-jitsu, everybody knows wrestling, boxing, conditioning, and now it’s also a different time. Also, MMA grew up very fast, and we’re learning. People think I don’t train wrestling because I finished my fights in the stand-up, but I do wrestling every day.
“I think I have more experience than him and the toughest fights. I had also better opponents, but I never underestimate anyone. I’m more hungry than him because he’s now 3-0 in ONE Championship. I don’t have any fights because they give me straight away Murad, and I’m just like a new cookie there and he knows everything. I think I’m more experienced than him, I had the toughest fight.
I believe in myself and, what I can say? It’s very tough opponent for me, and I like this. I cannot wait for the fight.”
Soldic is focused on getting a first win in ONE, and doesn’t mind how that comes about.
“Just win,” he said. “I don’t care how. Just submission, points, KO, doesn’t matter for me. I just want to win the fight. Be smart, be sharp, be fast. People always expect KOs from me because most of my fights was finished by KO, so I guess – surprise – also submission, I also have good jiu-jitsu. I believe in it, and just to win. I see a good fight.”
ONE Fight Night 5: De Ridder vs. Malykhin takes place Saturday December 3 5am GST at the Mall Of Asia Arena, Manila. This is a night not to be missed so mark your calendars, download the ONE Super App, and go to watch.onefc.com now!