Roberto Soldic has a new home.
The two-division KSW champion is taking his talents from the Polish promotion to Singapore's ONE Championship. Soldić broke the news of his free agency decision Monday on The MMA Hour.
This is a major coup for ONE, with Soldić (20-3) currently holding champion status in KSW's middleweight and welterweight divisions. "Robocop" claimed the 185-pound title this past December with a brutal second-round knockout of legend Mamed Khalidov. He won the promotion's 170-pound title by defeating current UFC contender Dricus Du Plessis in August 2018 by third-round knockout and he has successfully defended that title twice.
Soldić revealed that one of the main reasons why he chose to vacate his KSW titles and sign with ONE is because he has been promised the opportunity to compete for titles outside of MMA.
“I chose ONE because it’s the biggest martial arts promotion in the world," Soldić said. "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.”
Soldić, 27, currently holds a top 15 spot in MMA Fighting's Global Rankings at middleweight. He has won seven straight fights and 14 of his past 15. Soldić made himself into a star in KSW not just with his incredible consistency, but his highlight-reel finishes. Seventeen of his twenty victories have come by way of knockout.
Asked if it was difficult to choose ONE over other promotions, Soldić said that he received an offer from the UFC that was "good but nothing serious." If anything, he felt that he had to sign with a promotion where some former UFC fighters including champions Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez have taken losses.
"It's for me a better opportunity," Soldić said. "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."
Soldić is unsure of when he will debut, but he hopes to fight before the end of the year and plans to continue competing in MMA before branching off into other combat sports.
He added that he wants to continue competing at both 185 and 170 pounds with an emphasis on the 170-pound division. And there's one former UFC fighter he has in mind for a future fight.
"I want to fight Eddie Alvarez, for sure, if [Sityodtong] gives me Eddie Alvarez," Soldić said. "We will see."