“Mister KO” Andrei Stoica knew that he was born to be a martial artist.
Stoica discovered martial arts thanks to his father who was a former boxer. Alongside his brother, they sparred with each other during their younger years. Later on, he saw a movie starring Jean-Claude Van Damme which inspired him to become a kickboxer.
On 6 December at ONE: MARK OF GREATNESS, Stoica will face Anderson “Braddock” Silva in a welterweight kickboxing match at the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur. He recalls how he got to this point in his life, and what fans can expect from him moving forward.
“From childhood, I was always a hardcore fan of martial arts and I loved the combat sports,” Stoica said.
“I always knew I would become a fighter; it was like a calling. Something was pushing me to start practicing martial arts and begin a fighting career. I guess God had a great plan for me to do what I love for the rest of my life, to become an example for those around me and for my people.”
Though Stoica started his formal training in Judo at the age of 11, he never forgot his dream to become like his idol Van Damme, switching to kickboxing and wushu in his teenage years.
So far in his career, Stoica has captured the Romanian National and European Championships in wushu and a World Title in kickboxing.
One of the Romanian’s most distinguished accomplishments is winning the SUPERKOMBAT Super Cruiserweight World Championship.
Joining ONE Championship’s prestigious ONE Super Series, Stoica appreciates the “Bushido Spirit” the organization practices.
“I have been competing all over the world and I have fought in all the important kickboxing organizations in the world and I am a pretty popular athlete,” Stoica said.
“But I never felt better than in ONE. I feel good from beginning to end. Everybody is nice to you whether you win or lose. You are treated like a champion, you are treated like a king and I find this delightful – to see ONE respects their athletes so much and places them above all else.”
Earlier this year, Stoica lost to Tarik Khbabez in his ONE debut but redeemed himself with a victory over Ibrahim El Bouni in April. After back-to-back matches in the first half of 2019, Stoica has been looking forward to his next match.
“I have been waiting impatiently to return and compete again in ONE Championship,” Stoica said.
“I think it is a suitable match for an organization like ONE, a fight between two super athletes like Anderson Silva and Andrei Stoica.”
Stoica’s team at the Stoica Brothers Fight Academy has been busy training him to give the audience a great performance in Malaysia.
“My training was good,” he said.
“My trainers out-did themselves in preparing for this bout and I worked very hard to exceed their expectations. I think it is a great match up. We have similar fighting styles and I think it will be a nice and attractive bout for our fans and for the ONE Championship fans.”
Like the rest of the athletes in ONE, Stoica’s dream is to wear a golden strap around his waist in the future, which pushes him to do more inside and outside the ONE Circle.
“At this moment, I think it is every fighter’s dream to sign with ONE Championship and become their champion,” Stoica said.
“I realize I have great competition, but that motivates me even more and makes me want to overcome my limits. All I do is keep training seriously, working very hard, being determined and give my best in the ring or in the cage.”