When Ognjen Topic makes his highly-anticipated promotional return on Friday, 16 August, he will try to grab a signature win against one of the fastest rising stars in ONE Super Series.
The Serbian-American is scheduled to face Russian knockout artist Alaverdi “Babyface Killer” Ramazanov in a bantamweight Muay Thai contest at ONE: DREAMS OF GOLD, which broadcasts live from the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand.
Get HYPED for the return of Muay Thai World Champion Ognjen Topic // Oгњен Топић this Friday! Manila | 12 April | 6:00PM | Watch on the ONE Super App: http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp | TV: Check local listings for global broadcast | Facebook: Prelims LIVE | Twitter: Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE | Tickets: http://bit.ly/onehonor19
Posted by ONE Championship on Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Stylistically, the two athletes have little in common.
Topic is known for his calculated approach and his technical prowess, while Ramazanov is a hard-hitting, unpredictable striker. That particular form has led “Babyface Killer” to three IFMA Muay Thai World Championships, and the fastest knockout in ONE Super Series history.
The 33-year-old New Jersey resident is not worried about the contrast in styles, however. He already knows how to combat his rival’s offense.
“His style is easy to read because he is always coming in and out. So when he bounces out, I know he’s going to bounce in next,” Topic says.
“It’s not like when you fight someone calm, you never know when they’re going to go. They’re like cobras — they just go. With Alaverdi, I just have to make sure my defense is good.”
Throughout the year, Topic — a Lion Fight Lightweight World Champion — splits his training between North Jersey Muay Thai in the United States and P.K.Saenchaimuaythaigym in Thailand.
Leading up to this bout, however, the Serbian-American has been training at the latter.
“I’m training every day at P.K.Saenchaimuaythaigym with top-level fighters, and they’re giving me tips on what I should be doing,” he explains. “One of our guys here, Kongsak, fought Alaverdi already, so he has been giving me tips.”
Since both athletes will be competing on the same card, they have been sharpening each other’s skills ahead of event night.
“I’m training with Muangthai because we’re on the same schedule, so my game is going to be well-rounded going into this fight,” Topic adds.
View this post on Instagram
Keeping it going—especially when I don’t want to. @cleaneats2day / Video: @muayindica_iseverywhere ___ #TeamTopic #MuayThai #Challenge #Competition #Champion #Training #Power #Fight #Fighter #Fitness #Infightstyle #GetOnnit #Onnit #Boxing #Challenge #NYC #NJ #NJMT #Thailand #Bangkok #Serbia #Србија #OneChampionship #WeAreOne
Competing on the same card as “The Elbow Zombie” also means Topic will have the entire P.K.Saenchaimuaythaigym team to guide him through the Alaverdi bout should he stray from his game plan.
“Having my Thai teammates in my corner will help,” he continues.
“Their instructions are very clear and very simple, and you know exactly what you need to do. And, they instill that sense of urgency.”
Teammates aside, Topic has another source of knowledge going into this match-up: his trainer. He has been hitting pads with Somwang “P’ Wang” Mathong, the 2018 Thailand Muay Thai Trainer of the Year.
Everything seems to have fallen into place for the Serbian-American during this training camp and, if he executes his strategy on Friday, he could claim one of the biggest victories of his Muay Thai career because of it.