Ognjen Topic, 32, one of the best Muay Thai competitors to come out of the United States. But the kickboxer, who is of Serbian descent, had to keep his life as a martial artist from his family for years.
What Topic’s parents wanted was for him to get a college diploma, and so, he did. He graduated from the William Patterson University in Wayne, New Jersey with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts.
For years, Topic competed as a martial artist professionally but kept it a secret from his parents. Eventually, the truth surfaced when a family member had stumbled upon one of his bouts on the video streaming website YouTube and showed it to his father.
“My father stopped talking for me for four months,” Topic revealed. “After that, my parents realized this is something they were not going to be able to stop. We did not really talk about it. They knew I was still doing it, but we just kind of stopped talking about it.”
The time to talk about it eventually arrived. Topic gave his parents quite the choice to make.
“Finally, when I turned professional, I sat both of them down, and I said, ‘Either you are going to choose to support me, or I am going to walk out of here and you are never going to see me again,’” Topic shared. “I gave them that ultimatum, and they said that they were going to support me.”
As it turned out, it would be the best outcome for Topic as he went on to become a very decorated martial artist. He captured numerous titles in his professional career such as the Lion Fight Lightweight World Championship, the World Kickboxing Association (WKA) North American Lightweight Championship, the World Boxing Council (WBC) North American Super Featherweight Championship and the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) Lightweight World Championship.
While the championships and honors bring prestige to the athlete, for Topic, it is all about giving back to the people who have helped to mold him into the top-tier martial artist that he is today. He explained, “Honestly, the titles have never meant that much to me, but it was mainly the look that I saw in my trainers’ faces after I won.”
“They were very emotional,” the Serbian-American kickboxer continued. “It was a long-term goal for them to get that title, and we finally did it, all together. It was just great to see that I made my coaches proud.”
Now, Topic plies his trade on the international stage. On May 12, 2018, he 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 where 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 compete again in a Muay Thai contest in the bantamweight division as he returns to the ONE Championship ring at “ONE: Beyond the Horizon” at the Baoshan Arena in Shanghai, China. His opponent will be Tukkatatong Petpayathai, 30, of Thailand.
Another decisive win will definitely move Topic one step closer to another prestigious honor, the ONE Super Series World Championship. Meanwhile, watch his bout against Mikkos here: