Rade Opacic has been a breakout sensation since he first appeared on the global stage in December 2020.
Inocente is a storied veteran who’s battled the best of the best in the combat sports world. Opacic grew up watching him as a teenager and believes the 35-year-old is his greatest challenge to date.
“When I signed with ONE, I looked at all the new heavyweights signed with them, so he was in my sights way before [now]. I was just getting ready for everybody, not really thinking about the opponent, but I knew that Guto was there and that one day I’d fight him, so he’s not a stranger to me.
“As you know, I fought [Errol] Zimmerman, I fought [reigning light heavyweight king Roman] Kryklia, I fought many big names, but Guto is going to be the biggest name on my list and a big thing for me. He fought in many organizations and nobody could stop him. So it’s going to be good. It’s big opportunity for me, and I’m going to do everything to beat him.”
With many regional and international titles in both kickboxing and MMA, Inocente has earned his reputation as one of the top heavyweight strikers on the planet.
However, it’s not just the victories that stand out. Fans love the Brazilian’s unorthodox technique and his ability to withstand punishment from even the hardest-hitting foes.
Opacic is well-aware of these elements and has a game plan to combat them – whether it’s meeting fire with fire to maintain his 100 percent finishing rate in ONE, or going the distance for a decision.
“[Inocente] has his own fighting style, he’s strong, and in kickboxing, no one has finished him. He’s durable, he can take a shot, he has good cardio. But he has also some some things that I see and that I can use against him. He has his hands down, he moves a lot, so he can throw some unpredictable things, those spinning kicks and everything. I will be ready for that.
“It would be best to beat him by KO, and I’m sure that if I hurt him, I’m going to go to finish it. But I’m going be in the best shape for this fight. If I knock him out, perfect. If we go three rounds, perfect also.”
Rade Opacic Wants World Title Gold, But There’s No Rush
Rade Opacic has posted a perfect 4-0 record in ONE Super Series ahead of his matchup with Guto Inocente at ONE 158, clearly establishing himself as the heavyweight kickboxing division’s front-runner.
Still, the KBKS man is not in a hurry to get his hands on the inaugural ONE Heavyweight Kickboxing World Championship. It’s certainly his biggest motivator, but the 24-year-old also has time on his side.
The Serbian rising star said:
“For me, every fight in ONE is important and each fight is most important for me. Every fight is one step closer to that title. That’s my number one goal, to become first ONE World Champion in the heavyweight kickboxing division.
“I have to beat them all to move up to my goal. I’m not just thinking about the belt. I just see [Inocente] as my opponent, and my goal is to beat him. Then when ONE’s people say it’s time for the title, I’m going to go for it.”
While he’s staying patient, it seems inevitable that Opacic will compete for the divisional crown at some point – especially if he gets past Inocente at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
In the meantime, the Belgrade native feels that every training camp and every bout will only make him more dangerous when the time comes.
“If I win this fight, I think the logic would be to have my next fight for the World Title, if [ONE] thinks I’m there. But I’m not rushing because every fight is more experience.
“The more fights I have, the better I’m going to be. If the title fight is the next one or I have to fight three more fights, I’m just going to be even better and more experienced. I’m not rushing, but my goal is to become World Champion.”