KSW

Roberto Soldić has a big decision to make very soon.

“Robocop” recently picked up his seventh straight win and second KSW title — the middleweight strap, to go along with his welterweight championship — with a brutal knockout win over promotional legend Mamed Khalidov at KSW 65 in December.

The two-division KSW champion could become one of the most interesting free agents in MMA later this year if he doesn’t re-sign with the promotion. According to Soldić, there will be much more clarity on his future following KSW 67, which takes place this Saturday in Warsaw, Poland.

“[I have] one fight left and it expires [in] July,” Soldic told MMA Fighting on We Got Next. “We will know after this KSW event next Saturday — Sunday, we will have a meeting with Mr. Lewandowski, the boss of KSW, and we will [let them know] what I want, and we will see if they accept this or not.

“[But] 100 percent we will stay [if they accept]. PFL also give me good offer, but if KSW gives good offer, 100 percent I will stay.”

If the meeting between Martin Lewandowski and Soldić’s management team doesn’t go as well as it could, that means one of the more exciting and vicious fighters in the sport will have a lot of options.

Of course, hardcore fans of the sport in North America, along with the European MMA scene, would love to see the 27-year-old test himself with the top welterweight and middleweight fighters in the world.

“Man, the people, the fans, Instagram, Facebook, everyone, on the street, ‘Hey, when do you go to the UFC?’ Many, many times,” Soldic said. “This makes me crazy. Every day, ‘When are you going to the UFC? Why don’t you go to the UFC?’ This put me, in my mind, I really need to test myself. From the beginning, it was my dream to go there, to see someone like Georges St-Pierre and some of the other guys I used to watch on YouTube and the television. And I had time to train with some of these guys, it was a really good feeling. It’s a motivation for me.

“KSW, they pay me really good. And now, I don’t know what to do. I’m a little bit confused, but we will see after Sunday what they want, what they offer, how much they give. Will they give [what we ask]? But the fans, media, every day, when am I going to the UFC? I believe in myself. I know what I can do, and soon we will know what the future brings.

When Soldić fights, it rarely makes it to the judges’ scorecards as he has finished 18 of his 20 pro bouts inside the distance — including a third-round TKO win over current UFC middleweight up-and-comer Dricus Du Plessis to capture the KSW welterweight title in October 2018.

Every promotion will seemingly want to add a competitor of his caliber and exciting style. When asked what was the most important thing to him when it comes to this decision — money, competition, building a legacy against the best fighters in the world with the most amount of eyeballs — Soldić says that everything plays a factor, but he’d be lying if money wasn’t a major component.

“As a sportsman, UFC is No. 1,” Soldic explained. “KSW, they pay me really good money that I can just relax. But it’s not just the UFC. PFL also offered me a contract, ONE, everybody. When you’re winning the way that I win with the knockouts, everyone wants you. For me, everything is important. Money, for the sport, UFC is No. 1 for sure, but at the end of your career, they ask you how much money [you have].

“That is also the thing. What do you have [to show] for this? If I’m a UFC champion and I don’t have money, and I go out to a restaurant, I cannot pay with my belt for what I eat. It is about money today, but I want competition with the best guys and this gives me motivation to go into training.

“I also want to go for third belt, but I don’t have weight for this. But we will see after Sunday. I can’t wait to see their offer.”

With Soldić being 27 years of age and entering his athletic prime, it would be easy to say he still has time to have his cake and eat it too — re-sign with KSW, or sign with another promotion, then head to the UFC in a couple of years. But with 23 pro fights under his belt, Soldić isn’t so sure about that, especially with the uncertainty a sport like MMA can present.

So if MMA fans want to see Soldić compete inside the hallowed octagon, it may need to happen very soon.

“Some people say this, ‘You are young,’ but I don’t know. I feel like all of my experience, all of my travels, sparring with the fighters, I feel like the time is now,” Soldic said. “Sean Shelby also said to my manager, ‘Don’t bring him when he has too many injuries, when his body is finished from the training and everything.’ I know that is true, I broke my right hand — and now it’s good — but I don’t know what will happen at 30, 31 [years old].

“Now, I feel good, I feel ready, fresh, young, a lot of experience. I’m 20-3, I know how it feels to fight in the third round [and beyond], and I feel like I know how to use pressure, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, and the punches. I think the time is now, but still waiting for decision.”

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