Posted on 13th January 2017

Ognjen Topic, one of the world’s best American Muay Thai Fighters, has signed on with EPOK. Topic, 30, just finished out his contract with Lion Fight after defeating Dechsakda Sitsongpeenong by majority decision at Lion Fight 29 this past May. He is now 40-13-2.

“I’m extremely excited,” said Topic, who is the WBC and WKA Full-Rules Muay Thai champion as well as the former Lion Fight lightweight title holder. “It’s going to be the next step of my career and it’s going to bring me bigger fights and more money. It’s a huge move for me going forward.”

Topic moved from Serbia to the U.S. at the age of nine, embarking on a new life with his family in New Jersey, which is still the state that he calls home today. He took up taekwondo at the age of 14 and earned his black belt just four years later. But when he caught a glimpse of a Muay Thai card on ESPN, it would ultimately change his life forever.

“I fell in love with it right then and there,” he said. “And then I found the school, North Jersey Muay Thai and I’ve been with them since I was 18.”

Topic trains under Ray Cruz and Joseph Bumanlag at NJMT, and he also trains in Thailand at Element Air under head trainer Suriya. That, he says, is where he truly fine-tuned his overall game. It wasn’t easy going up against seasoned fighters in Thailand, who all had a huge advantage over him in experience, but that’s what lead to his advancement in the sport.

“My goal was to fight the best,” Topic said. “I didn’t want to mess around and just fight nobodies. You see a lot of these guys that I started out with and they are either done fighting, which is understandable because it’s not for everybody. For some it’s just a hobby, but there are some people, who are still in it but they are on the same level and haven’t advanced. I could’ve been one of those guys, but now I’m doing it at the highest level you can do it at.”

Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bruce Lee are two of Topic’s favourite fighters from the big screen. However, as far as real fighters go, he is a big fan of Buakwaw Banchamek and fellow Thai legends: Saenchai and Samart Payakaroon. In addition to training, Topic also teaches at NJMT as well as private sessions and seminars around the country. “I like people to learn the correct way,” he said on teaching “the art of eight limbs.”

You may soon see Topic give up his elbow repertoire in order to test out the kickboxing waters in the New Year, but next up will be a showdown with Jose Luis “Rayo” Uribe for the IKF Muay Thai world title on February 17th in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Uribe has an edge in experience over Topic, but that’s nothing he hasn’t seen before.

“He has more fights than I do, but I’m used to that,” he said.

Get used to hearing more about Ognjen Topic, because the Garden State-based Muay Thai specialist is readying to break out in 2017 and continue to prove that he’s not just one of the best Thai fighters in the U.S., but one of the best across the entire globe.

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