Luka “The Hitman” Jelcic chasing and living his dream in mystical Ireland.
The lads from Obviously Fight Talk were joined by SBGi lightweight Luka Jelcic this week in what was an eye-opening interview of the life and travels of the Croatian sensation.
Luka is the owner of an impressive 10 wins, 2 defeats professional record and is the current FFC (Final Fight Championship) lightweight champion; but this was not the focus of this story or interview.
The interview starts with Luka’s first fight on Irish soil at TEF 1. Luka was scheduled to fight at 75kgs, but while in camp with Conor McGregor in the States, and with only 3 weeks to go, he was told 73kg was the agreed weight instead. However, when he was sent his fight contract 7 days out, it then stated it was a 5 round fight at 70.3kg.
Luka missed weight due to this chance and offered 30% of his fight purse to his opponent to keep the fight afloat. But he declined. He then offered 50%, and then 75%, and then, finally, he offered the entire purse just to fight. The fight was changed from a 5 round fight to 3 round fight one hour before he made the walk to the cage.
“To me it doesn’t represent anything like,” he said. “If I’m walking down the road and someone spits in my face we’re fighting. I’m not going to ask is it a five rounder or a three rounder or whatever.”
Jelcic didn’t need three rounds. He finished the fight inside the first round after punishing ground and pound, including a rain of vicious elbows from mount before his opponent rolled and Jelcic sunk in the rear-naked-choke to the roar of The National Stadium.
Luka explained how he moved to Ireland in pursuit of his dream life and a successful fighting career. His original Irish debut was due to be on BAMMA. After living in Ireland for just 5 weeks, that opportunity presented itself due to an injury to Phil Mulpeter, but, unfortunately for Luka, he got injured 2 weeks out also.
It was a blow for Jelcic, who also spoke about living with his fiancée on a budget of 200 euro a month.
“Look, I was barely eating,” he admitted. “Me and my fiancée were living off 200 euro for months per month. So I wasn’t eating much. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t starving. It was mince and rice, you know? And rice cakes and peanut butter to be exact. Chic peas was a feast.
“Yeah, I was training hard I wanted to improve myself. I wanted to evolve. I wanted to train in SBG so much get all this knowledge, get all these rounds. I mean, I get into the room and there’s Chris Fields, Owen Roddy. You know I came up to every single one of them and was like can I train with you guys? Can I do some technique, do some pads? And a big fan a long time fan, bla bla bla. And they were all very generous towards me and still are. They took me under the banner (SBG) really quick and feeling apart of the family.”
He’s is certainly a name to remember, as his record shows. Currently riding a four-fight win streak, with all by first round finishes, Jelcic had campaigned for a slot on the UFC Gdansk card, but it didn’t come to fruition. However, don’t be surprised if it happens sooner rather than later.
We wont give away the full interview, so hit the video link above as Luka speaks more about what’s ahead, life in SBG, the new breed of SBG Ireland, and bonds he’s made for life with his teammates.
Interview at min 120:32