Akonne Wanliss on fighting Star Wars characters and coaching Team England in Oktagon Challenge

From taking on Star Wars characters to guiding Team England to victory in Oktagon Challenge, Akonne Wanliss has mastered not just martial arts but The Force as well.

In his illustrious career, ‘The Jedi’ has risen to the pinnacle of the sport, crushing all who stand in his way. And with so much talent flowing through his veins, he’s willing to transcend our world and travel to another galaxy to take on the infamous Darth Vader.

Speaking exclusively to Sporf, he beamed: “I feel like I can f**k Darth Vader up in five minutes. His ego is too big for his helmet. He has The Force Choke. But I am the master of The Force. He’s too much on the Dark Side. He’s too unbalanced. So I’d take him out.”

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But despite his impressive confidence, even he concedes that a bout between himself and Master Yoda might be a bridge too far.

He laughed: “I’d literally just skip past him because of the height. But Yoda actually would mash me up. I’m not gonna lie; Master Yoda taught me everything I know. He’s still the sensei.”

However, as Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu’ once said, ‘The student has become the master’ as Wanliss has taken the reins as the coach of Team England in their battle against the Irish.

Akonne Wanliss believes Team England will win Oktagon Challenge

Within an episode of the show, the Birmingham brawler kicked off with the opposition’s Aaron McDonald.

Wanliss scowled: “I don’t know what happened with him. He locked eyes with me randomly. We were all just introducing everyone; I’ve literally just walked into the building, and he went, ‘What are you looking at? You look like you want to fight’.

“I was like, ‘Shut the f**k up bro, I’ll knock you out in five minutes, know your place’. He got knocked out in the first round against Beau Gavin. I jumped the cage because I was ecstatic that it happened, but he’s a good guy. It was sad that he got humbled in that way.

“The Force is strong with Beau. We lost the second fight with Armand vs Jake, so it’s 1-1. It’s looking very exciting for this week. Let’s see if we can get this victory back.”

Akonne Wanliss is coaching a legend of reality TV

In a sport as brutal as fighting, it takes an incredible character to stand out from the pack. But in a testament to the hard work of the production team, they’ve managed to discover an absolute gem in the form of Hascen Neri Gelezi.

From amusing antics, to his rivalry with Denis Frimpong, ‘Morning Breakfast’ has rapidly become one of the most charismatic individuals in the history of reality TV, and Wanliss has the privilege of working alongside him.

He smiled: “I think he’s very interesting for television. I love the entertainment that’s going on there. I was laughing constantly over what was going on between Denis and Hascen. He’s hilarious. Every day I was like, ‘Where’s Hascen’? He goes missing. We’d have training sessions, and he’d be on the blower or eating Snickers bars.”

“When the guys finally fight, we’re definitely going to feel the tension. Somebody’s going to get knocked out. I’d be surprised if it goes to the judges.”

Akonne Wanliss has witnessed some epic pranks on Oktagon Challenge: England vs Ireland

With eight lads from England and Ireland sharing a house, havoc was bound to ensue. From water bombs being exchanged, to Denis squirting toilet water all over Hascen, the pranks are getting increasingly extreme. And Wanliss thinks one practical joke in particular went a step too far.


He asserted: “The water bombs are cool. It’s funny. But I heard Denis farted on Hascen’s face. I’d be knocking him out straight away. I’m waking up from my sleep and knocking him out. There are no two words about it, and if I don’t catch him, then I’ll catch him another time. You can’t fart on a man’s head. That’s crazy.

“I thought the water gun was funny, but then I saw that he got the water from the toilet. I’d have been fuming. Denis is dirty. Hopefully, he cleaned the mats after.”

Akonne Wanliss is preparing for Oktagon MMA 48

On November 4, the promotion makes its debut in the UK at the AO Manchester Arena. And Wanliss is ready to put his skills on full display.

In his previous performance, he set the world alight, coming out to the cage dressed as Darth Maul before dismantling his opponent en route to guzzling down his favourite snack.

The Brit reminisced: “I wanted to make a performance from start, middle and end, and that’s what I did. I came out there dressed as Darth Maul, got a spectacular first-round finish, and ended it with some beautiful Jaffa Cakes.”

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And while the fans await to find out whether he’ll enter the arena for his next fight dressed as Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi or even C3-PO, Wanliss knows that he’ll have to produce the best performance of his career if he wants to beat Jakub Bahnik.

He concluded: “I can’t say too much about who I’m going to dress up as, because I want it to be a surprise. But I’ll give you one clue, ‘This is the Way’. Just make sure you come to Oktagon MMA 48 in Manchester on November 4. The Force will be unleashed. Don’t miss it. And if you want to catch some Jaffa Cakes, scream nice and loud.”

Featured Image Credit: Oktagon MMA