Ognjen Topic

Ognjen Topic reflects on Saenchai and the ‘mentality of fighting’ for success

Ognjen Topic recently fought Muay Thai legend, Saenchai, last month at Yokkao 22 in Honk Kong and unfortunately, lost by decision. There aren’t many Farangs that are given much of a chance in the minds of Thai boxing fans when matched-up against the +400 fight veteran but then again, Topic is regarded as ‘one of the best technically gifted Thai fighters’ of the current crop (by none other than Damien Trainor who, was coaching at CSA Gym during November).

However, Topic himself was the first to admit that the fight didn’t unfold anywhere as what he would’ve liked or had planned:

“I’m not happy at all about the fight but we’re talking about a guy that’s been doing it for a very long time and he has quite a bit more experience than I do so, I’m trying to stay positive. It’s difficult especially when you’re competitive individual.”

“Before the fight and during the fight I felt great mentally, physically you know. I didn’t look at him as some, some god of Muay Thai. I just looked at him as an opponent and I prepared myself as I always do. I went into the fight with the mentality of winning and even when I was in the fight, you know it was difficult, I still wanted to beat him so, that’s that.”

It’s interesting that Topic mentioned the ‘mentality of fighting’ because not only is it fair to say that fighting is 99% in the mind but so is having the self-belief and aptitude in achieving our life goals and dreams too. Self doubt can really cripple fighters mentality; a good example of this would be the way how pro boxer, Nicholas Walters surrendered after six rounds against Vasyl Lomachenko, over the weekend in Las Vegas. Topic explained what he does away from the gym in his spare time to help him mentally with moving forward in his fighting career.

“Another thing I like to do is sometime if I have some downtime is I go on YouTube and look up documentaries on any businessman. You know I like I’m into cars so I’ll go look up the guy that started the company Koenigsegg, you know an exotic car company or Pagani. So, you kinda just listen to how they talk and how they began these things, their story and their dreams and how everything came to fruition. Then it kinda you know puts things into perspective you can follow this steps as well from other people and then you can learn from them.”

“So it really doesn’t matter what profession it is, you can always take something away from any I guess, elite person, on that high level that has that mentality to be persistent and dedicated to their craft.”

Simon Marcus vs Joe Schilling

Simon Marcus vs Joe Schilling

Muay Thai is one of the oldest forms of fighting and as a professional sport, doesn’t gain the high levels of mainstream media coverage compared to pro boxing. The likes of Joe Schilling and Kevin Ross have both previously voiced the difficulties that they’ve faced in their careers before the emergence of GLORY, Lion Fight, Bellator Kickboxing and Muay Thai Grand Prix in recent years. Even kickboxing has struggled especially since the “Golden era” of the ‘old skool’ K-1 days in Japan.

However the tide would seem to be turning for both Muay Thai and kickboxing especially now that the UFC have, for the first time ever, partnered with another sporting promotion i.e. GLORY Kickboxing to be their PPV online media partner via UFC Fight Pass for streaming, GLORY Collision: Rico Verhoeven vs Badr Hari.

Even UFC colour commentator, Joe Rogan has been voicing his support and love for K1/Thai rules and recently had Kevin Ross, Gaston Bolanos and their coach (CSA Gym owner), Kieran Fitzpatrick on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast which, Topic was delighted about for the long term benefit of the sport.

tsc-ep-39-gaston-bolanos“It was great. I really hope that a lot of people tuned in. Kevin Ross really gave a really good explanation on you know, Muay Thai and the difference between the striking between Muay Thai and MMA and it pretty much how all of us Muay Thai fighters feel you know but we never really have a stage to say that; and I think he kinda opened up Joe Rogan’s eyes as well, you know with clinch and things like that because it doesn’t seem like a lot of those guys understand and know the difference between the two, the two sports. So its great that they were on the show and they were able to kind of give that differentiation.”

 

Lion Fight 28 – RESULTS + PHOTOS

Lion Fight promotions continued their track record of putting on some truly enjoyable and exciting Muay Thai shows with Lion Fight 28 at the Foxwoods Hotel & Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut this past Friday, February 26th. The main card that aired on AXS TV featured a total of 6 fights. Out of the 6 fights, 5 fights ended up with a KO or TKO and every fight did not disappoint in the excitement factor. If the only complaint from fans about the Lion Fight 27 card in January was that every fight ended in a decision, Lion Fight 28 surely made it up to them.

In the co-main event, the light weight title switched hands as Sergio Wielzen stopped Ognjen Topic in Rd. 3 with a brutal flying knee that opened up a huge gash over Topic’s left eye. The doctor as called in to assess the damage and decided to call the fight thus declaring Sergio Wielzen the new Lion Fight Lightweight World Champion by TKO.

In the main event “Smokin'” Jo Nattawut faced Cedric Manhoef (the nephew of Kickboxing and MMA veteran Melvin Manhoef) who stepped in as a replacement for Kem Sitsongpeenong. Jo Nattawut pretty much did what Jo Nattawut does and put on a Muay Thai clinic complete with hard body kicks and effective teeps that gave Manhoef little opportunity for mounting any sort of offense.

Our very own official TSC photographer Victor Alvarez was on hand to cover all the action so check out his awesome pictures belows as well as the full results from the evenings action.

FULL RESULTS:
Jo Nattawut def. Cedric Manhoef by Unanimous Decision
Sergio Wielzen def. Ognjen Topic by TKO (doctor’s stoppage) in Rd. 3
Ky Hollenbeck def Justin Greskiewicz by TKO (elbows) in Rd. 2
Chris Mauceri def. Nick Chasteen by KO (elbows) in Rd. 1
Bryce Lawrence def. Yeison Berdugo by KO (strikes) in Rd. 1
Asa Tenpow def. Turan Hasanov by TKO (doctor’s stoppage) in Rd. 3

AMATEUR UNDERCARD:
Stergos Mikkios def. Niko Qirjazo by Unanimous Decision
Mike Triana def. Kyle Benner by Unanimous Decision
Maria Kritikos def. Brandy Young by Unanimous Decision
Julian Nguyen def. Jimmy McDonald by Unanimous Decision
Doug Holland def. Greg Muldrow by Unanimous Decision
Andrew Murray def. John Nelson by Unanimous Decision

Episode 23 – Ognjen Topic

In this episode of The Striking Corner, we speak with current WKA and WBC National Champion, Ognjen Topic. We discuss his journey to the US from a war torn Bosnia in the early 90’s, how he discovered Muay Thai and how at the beginning of his career had to fight in secret because his father wasn’t too enthused about his decision to make fighting a profession. We talk that and much more! Check it out!