FFC Night of Champions that took place in December at the Zagreb Arena crowned inaugural middleweight kickboxing champion, Denis Marjanović. ‘The Lumberjack’ from Banja Luka, Republika Srpska, won the belt when he defeated Austria’s Rene Wimmer. However, right after that match, young prospect Andi Vrtačić of Trojan Free Fighters from Pula, Croatia, stepped into the ring and defeated Clyde Brunswijk in the light heavyweight division. Right after that, he called out the new middleweight champ. FFC decided to grant him that wish and Marjanović is now to defend his belt March 11 at FFC 28 in Athens, Greece.
FFC champ, finally
Marjanović got a chance to fight for the inaugural middleweight title but before that he already fought six times in the FFC ring.
“It feels good. I came to the FFC to win the title and this is the result of my work, sacrifice and effort throughout all these years. I hope I will hold the title as long as possible.”
First title defense
“I can’t say I changed something significantly. If there’s a tactics and team that works and wins, there is nothing to be changed. So I stick to my standard procedure and trainings. I changed a couple of sparing partners that now suit me better having in mind the style of my opponent.”
“Andi did a great match in Zagreb, I can’t say anything bad about it. He managed well with experienced opponent and he showed he is a talented fighter who has every right to fight in the FFC ring. But I have much more experience and I think I will find a way to break him in the ring.”
On Vrtačić stating Marjanović was static
“Since he said I was static fighter I hope he will not just run around the ring and be focused on movement and running. I hope he is ready for a real fight and exchange and I hope we will deliver an interesting match.”
Message to opponent
“Andi should better be in top shape because he will really have to give it all if he plans to take this title from me.”
After he won the title at FFC 27 in Zagreb, Marjanović raised the flag of Republika Srpska with no bad intentions whatsoever. However, the audience took it really bad and the media called him out for political provocation.
“I did not want this kind of promotion. It’s just a symbol of where I belong and I thought there would not be anything controversial about that. I had no intention to provoke anyone, as certain media described it. I’m not a nationalist at all, I’m an athlete. We all stick together, we respect each other and no other fighter had problem with me raising that flag.”