Roberto Soldic, a two-division KSW champion has announced that he will be joining ONE Championship. The Croatian fighter broke the news during his interview with Ariel Helwani on the latest edition of The MMA Hour.
— Timothy Wheaton MMA (@TimWheatonMMA) August 1, 2022
Soldic sports a 20 – 3 professional MMA record and held KSW belts in the middleweight and welterweight divisions. He won the 185 lbs title by defeating Polish MMA superstar, Mahmed Khalidov at KSW 65 back in December 2021. He grabbed the welterweight trophy by defeating Borys Mankowski at KSW 41. He lost it to Dricus du Plessis at KSW 43. The Croatian regained the title by winning the rematch at KSW 45 and defended it on two different occasions.
Soldic revealed an opportunity to win championships in different combat sports as a main reason behind the decision:
“I chose ONE because it’s the biggest martial arts promotion in the world. They give me opportunity to take all the belts: kickboxing world champion, muay Thai world champion, MMA world champion, also boxing world champion. So this makes me something new. I want to create something for my people, for my own legacy. So I chose ONE for sure. After I went to Singapore and I saw the atmosphere with Mr. Chatri [Sityodtong], how he treats the fighters, relationships, and he gave me the best offer. He said to me, ‘You can be a unique fighter and I will give you all the chances to take different belts from combat sports.’ So I do all sports. I want to do something different. … I want to hold the belts from all combat sports. Nobody has done this before. So this is, for me, the biggest challenge.”
The KSW double champion was asked how hard it was to make a such decision and choose ONE Championship over UFC. He replied:
“It’s for me a better opportunity. It’s the biggest promotion in the world. You know what happens to UFC stars when they go to ONE. They lose, they cannot take the ONE belt. So this makes me want to be a different fighter. I want to try and take this belt where UFC fighters failed. They don’t show up there. When I watched the live ONE show, I see different striking game, grappling game. I also went to many UFC events and ONE is something special, something different. True martial arts. So I want to try this organization and I will try to take all the belts because before KSW I had four boxing fights. I had a lot of fun in boxing and then to go MMA, I do everything, then after this KSW said we maybe do boxing. We have one Polish champion and it took so long so nothing happened. Only Mr. Chatri gave me this opportunity to be a true champion in martial arts.“
Watch Roberto Soldic talk about signing with ONE Championship in the video below:
Soldic added that he’s planning to continue to fight in both 170 lbs and 180 lbs division and wants to fight former UFC champions, Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez. The weight discrepancies between Soldic and Johnson wouldn’t be viable, however.
More details about Soldic choosing the Singapore promotion should be revealed tomorrow at a press conference that he will hold in his home country of Croatia.