Serbian-American kickboxer Ognjen Topic, 32, has always loved martial arts since he was young. However, pursuing a career in the sport was not what his parents originally wanted for him.
Today, Topic is regarded as one of the best Muay Thai competitors to come out of the United States. He began as an avid follower of combat sports early in life, but it came with much hesitation from his mother and father.
Coming to the U.S. from Serbia at the tender age of nine, Topic grew up in New Jersey and found himself becoming an ardent viewer of boxing matches. He wanted to take up the sport, but his request would be shut down by his parents.
Eventually, persistence paid off for Topic as he earned his parents’ blessing to take up the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do. He began at 14 years old and was a black belt by at the age of 17.
But Topic wanted more. Eventually, he stumbled upon Muay Thai, which sparked his desire even more.
“It still did not feel real to me,” Topic recalled. “I felt like boxing or kickboxing was real because with that, you are actually competing at 100 percent.”
“I ended up seeing Muay Thai for the first time on TV when I was 18, and I was driving around and trying to find a gym,” the Serbian-American kickboxer added. “I found one that was near my house, and I have been with the same gym since I was 18 years old.”
Topic honed his skills at the North Jersey Muay Thai Gym. After two years of training, he began to compete, all while fulfilling his parents’ wishes of getting a college diploma and eventually graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts at the William Patterson University in Wayne, New Jersey.
For years, Topic kept his martial arts career a secret from his family. His parents were not pleased when they discovered it but they eventually decided to support him.
On May 12, 2018, Topic made his debut in ONE Championship’s striking-only league ONE Super Series at “ONE: Grit and Glory” at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia. He defeated Stergos “Greek Dynamite” Mikkios, 28, of Greece via unanimous decision in a Muay Thai contest in the bantamweight division.
On September 8, 2018, Topic will return to the ONE Championship ring at “ONE: Beyond the Horizon” at the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China. He will compete again in a Muay Thai contest in the bantamweight division this time against Tukkatatong Petpayathai, 30, of Thailand.
Meanwhile, watch the bout between Topic and Mikkos here: