Rade Opacic has established himself as the best heavyweight kickboxer on the ONE Championship roster. He has not been rewarded with a title shot despite winning his first four fights for the promotion by second round stoppage.
But while he wants to win the belt eventually the Serbian doesn’t sound like a man in a rush,
“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,” he said.
Next week at ONE 158 he faces Guto Inocente in a bout that was originally scheduled to take place last week. No reason was given for the postponement but it is a fight Opacic has been preparing for since he first signed for the promotion,
“When I signed with ONE, I looked at all the new heavyweights signed with them, so he was in my sights. 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.”
Who hits harder – Rade Opacic or @GutoInocente? 💥
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) May 26, 2022
Having to wait a few more weeks to face the Brazilian doesn’t appear to have affected Opacic. But he sees this as the biggest fight of his kickboxing career,
“I fought (Errol) Zimmerman, I fought (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.”
Opacic has plenty of respect for the Brazilian. But he also sees some holes in Inocente’s game that he hopes to exploit,
“(He) 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.”
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) January 30, 2022
Opacic has finished every opponent he has faced in his ONE Championship career so far. But it sounds like he would settle for a decision win over Incoente,
“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.”
Opacic reiterates that he is not in a rush, and having received a $50,000 USD bonus for his last win he is definitely making money. But the Serbian feels he is just one win away from earning that elusive heavyweight title shot,
“If I win this fight, I think the logic would be to have my next fight for the title. I’m not rushing because every fight is more experience but my goal is to become champion.”