ONE Championship: Roberto Soldic could become ‘greatest combat sports athlete ever,’ says CEO Chatri Sityodtong
- Soldic signed with ONE after two-division title reign in Polish MMA league KSW, and aims to compete at lightweight, welterweight and middleweight
- Chatri says Croatian has the opportunity to make history but will be ‘facing a lot of monsters and killers in ONE’
Chatri Sityodtong is expecting big things from new ONE Championship fighter Roberto Soldic.
The 27-year-old Soldic – a former two-division KSW champion – signed with the Singapore-based martial arts promotion this week, and ONE chairman and CEO Chatri believes the sky is the limit for him in the Circle.
“I think he has a big opportunity to become, potentially, the greatest combat sports athlete ever, in history,” Chatri said at a recent press conference in Soldic’s native Croatia.
“Of course, we don’t know. I’m saying that’s the opportunity 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.”
In addition to his impressive accomplishments in MMA, Soldic (20-4) is also 4-0 as a pro boxer, with four knockouts, and has expressed interest in competing in “The Sweet Science” again in the future.
Chatri did not seem opposed to that idea, and even opened the door to a potential fight between the Croatian and American YouTube star Jake Paul – though he expressed doubt that it would be competitive.
“If Jake Paul ends up becoming a superstar in boxing and really becomes a real boxing champion, I would love to put Roberto in with Jake Paul,” he said. “I don’t think it’s going to last more than one round, to be honest. Roberto is too good, too slick, too powerful for Jake Paul. But again, I never say never.”
The details of Soldic’s ONE debut have not yet been finalised, but the former KSW champion is an instant contender in the promotion’s welterweight and middleweight divisions, which are ruled by Kyrgyzstan’s Kiamrian Abbasov and Dutchman Reinier de Ridder respectively.
He has won his last eight fights, and has finished 17 of his 20 pro victories by knockout. Highlights of his impressive resume include stoppage wins over KSW stars Mamed Khalidov and Michal Materla and current UFC contender Dricus du Plessis.