ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong is so excited about the signing of two-division KSW champion Roberto “Robocop” Soldic that he even flew out to Zagreb, Croatia, to formally announce the newest addition to the ONE Championship roster.
Being in martial arts nearly all his life, Sityodtong certainly knows talent when he sees it, and it didn’t take long for him to know that he’s got an absolute gem in the Croatian powerhouse.
“I am a lifelong martial artist, predominantly 38 years of Muay Thai and about 12 years of jiu-jitsu. When I saw Roberto, [his manager] Ivan [Dijakovic] reached out [and said], ‘Hey, I’m coming to Singapore with Roberto,’ and I didn’t know what to expect,” Sityodtong said.
“But then we got along very well, all of us, and he came over and trained. I watched Roberto hit the pads and roll with the champions at Evolve and realized that Roberto is a very special talent.”
Soldic’s record pretty much backs up what Sityodtong is saying. “Robocop” comes into The Home of Martial Arts with a 20-3 record and a 90 percent finishing rate.
His power is never in question, evident when he moved up a weight class to face Mamed Khalidov, knocking out the Polish man to win the KSW middleweight title and become a two-division champion.
He’s also shown interest in other combat sports, as aside from being an undefeated professional boxer, Soldic sees himself competing in kickboxing and Muay Thai bouts in ONE as well.
That’s why he’s truly a perfect fit for ONE, and Sityodtong believes he has the tools to make it big in The Home of Martial Arts.
“I really think that Roberto has a very special, unique talent. Of course, he’s going to be facing monsters and killers in ONE. So, this is the next big step of his career. It’s another level. This is the best of the best. Whether he goes into kickboxing, Muay Thai, or MMA, he has to level up. He has a lot of growing to do but of course he has a lot of talent,” Sityodtong said.
“I think he has a big opportunity to become, potentially, the greatest combat sports athlete ever, in history. Of course, we don’t know. I’m saying that’s the opportunity that Roberto has. Will he achieve it? We will see, but he’s going to be facing a lot of monsters and killers at ONE. It’s not going to be easy.”
ONE Eyes Event In Europe
With Soldic alongside some of the best European talent in combat sports like two-division World Champion Reinier de Ridder, ONE Strawweight Muay Thai World Champion Joseph Lasiri, and kickboxing GOAT Georgio Petrosyan, Sityodtong certainly sees The Home of Martial Arts heading to Europe soon.
With ONE continuing to expand all over the world – including in U.S. primetime on streaming giant Prime Video – it’s the perfect opportunity for the largest martial arts organization in the world to target Europe.
“I am here in Zagreb because I want throw an event in Zagreb with Roberto, and we have many European superstars across different combat sports, and also from the Balkan region, so I think this is my homework,” Sityodtong said.
“This is my first time in Croatia. I love Zagreb. Croatia is full of warriors. It’s a historical country that has always had warriors, and I am very excited at the opportunity. So I am going to go visit the stadium after this. But yes, this is the plan. I definitely see a big opportunity for us in Europe here.”
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