- Gegard Mousasi has nothing but praise for Roberto Soldic’s punching power
- “Even if he doesn’t try to hurt you, he hurts you,” Mousasi said in an interview
- Soldic is currently signed with ONE Championship
Former UFC star and current Bellator fighter Gegard Mousasi is nearing the end of his illustrious near-20-year career, and he has fought the who’s who of mixed martial arts (MMA).
Names such as Rory MacDonald, Lyoto Machida, Chris Weidman, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson all fell victim to his knockout power, and despite those men being knockout artists themselves, only one man can claim the title of the hardest hitter in MMA–at least from where Mousasi is standing.
“The biggest puncher, I will give it to Roberto Soldic. He was the double champion in KSW and now he’s fighting in ONE Championship,” Mousasi told talkSPORT.
“He went slow with me, but when he hits you, you feel the punch. He’s a naturally-gifted heavy puncher, I haven’t seen anybody like that. Even if he doesn’t try to hurt you, he hurts you.”
When ONE Championship announced that it had signed Roberto Soldic to the promotion in August 2022, those who were unfamiliar with his body of work wondered why fans and analysts alike were surprised at the acquisition.
The Croatian MMA star had become a name that was synonymous with hard hits as he lit up his opponents with punches and kicks, resulting in 17 of his 20 wins coming by way of knockout.
During his five-year run in Poland-based KSW, Soldic ran through the competition with a record of seven knockouts to his name plus a decision win to only just one loss–that being a knockout to Dricus du Plessis in April 2018 which he took back with a knockout victory of his own six months later.
Soldic made his debut under ONE Championship at ONE Fight Night 5 in December 2022 against Murad Ramazanov.
That bout would turn into a disaster as Soldic would receive a knee to the groin that rendered him unable to continue after five minutes of recovery time, turning it into a no-contest.
Seeking redemption earlier this month at ONE Fight Night 10, which also marked the promotion’s first event in the U.S., Soldic faced former ONE welterweight champion Zebaztian Kadestam.
Both men were certainly not gun-shy as they fired heavy shots right from the get-go, but it was Kadestam who had the last laugh as he landed a short elbow to the face of “Robocop” leading to the fight-ending sequence against the cage.
Despite the knockout loss, Soldic is as fearsome as they come and though his ONE Championship career did not start off on the right foot, hope is still high that he will get his chance to showcase what made him such a monster in Europe.