Branco Cikatic

Branimar Cikatic

The ‘Croatian Tiger’ Branco Cikatic was one of the most popular kickboxers on record. The Yougoslavian strongman began his fighting career in 1978 and captured his first WAKO fullcontact European and World titles for the large amateur kickboxing organization between 1979 and 1982. In 1983 he switched to Muay Thai and took up training under Thom Harrinck in Amsterdam. Harrinck’s Chakuriki Dojo was famous for producing some of the finest Muay Thai and Dutch kickboxing champions including Gilbert Ballentine, Peter Aerts and Ron Kuyt among others. Until 1987 Cikatic captured various WMTC titles. It took until December 1987 for his first big money fight when he faced Don ‘The Dragon’ Wilson in a classic showdown for the KICK light heavyweight World title in Orlando, USA. Wilson took home the biggest recorded purse in the history of kickboxing amounting to 60,000 US$. Cikatic lost by knockout.
After various years of more professional Muay Thai fights Branko Cikatic became a big star in Japan by winning the first K-1 kickboxing tournament in Tokyo by knocking out Ernesto Hoost in 1993. He kept on fighting K-1 tournaments and MMA. After his retirement Branco helped built up the sport of Muay Thai in Croatia where he became a sports celebrity. His fans called him ‘Tigar’ (tiger). He died on March 22, 2020 after long illness that may have be caused from his late fighting career. May he rest in peace. He is remembered as one of the alltime greats of Muay Thai and kickboxing.

Branko Cikatic on the cover of Croatian mainstream media Arena Illustrated.