In a whirlwind rollercoaster ride, George Staines and Denis Frimpong have gone from mortal enemies, to friends, willing to go to the Lego shop together.
At Oktagon 48 in the AO Arena in Manchester, the pair of sporting titans finally settled their grudge in the finale of Oktagon Challenge: England vs Ireland.
In one of the greatest reality TV rivalries of all time, Frimpong terrorised his nemesis, making horrific comments about his family and mocking him for his interest in Lego. But in a testament to Staines’ mental strength, he didn’t succumb to the pressure and instead used the Dubliner’s jibes as fuel to his fire.
Utilising the experience that guided him to gold medal glory at the European Amateur Championships, Staines out-thought and out-manned the pantomime villain, breaking him down with his unrelenting grappling, before locking in a Guillotine, which forced his opponent to tap.
And while there was undeniably some needle at the end with the victor pounding his adversary on the back, at the post-fight press conference, they made friends.
George Staines and Denis Frimpong bonded over Lego
As a little reward for winning the fight, Staines decided to treat himself to an extra special Lego set.
He told Sporf: “It’s the Ultimate Collector Series Venator. Akonne Wanliss knows. I’m going to get it tomorrow.”
Baffled by the back-and-forth between the new Oktagon: Challenge champion and Wanliss, Jake Quickenden, who’d beaten Paul Smith earlier in the night said: “You two are random guys.”
Undeterred, Staines continued: “I’m going to be getting that tomorrow; I saw it in the Lego shop when I went on Thursday. I’ll be getting that straight away. So, I’ll be going home very happy haha.”
Then, in a moment that filled the room with joy, Frimpong beamed: “There’s a new Lego shop opening up in Dublin; we can go together.”
Endeared by the situation, the press in attendance clapped, as the two former foes finally buried the hatchet.
Can George Staines and Denis Frimpong really become mates?
Discussing a potential friendship, the Oktagon: Challenge runner-up explained: “I think we can be training partners. I don’t know about good friends. We’re different people, to be honest, but we’re the same in some ways because we both earned our way into this sport. All the s**t before is to sell the show, it’s to sell the fight, and it worked. We got a big response. I feed off that energy, whether it’s boos or cheers.”
The fighter continued: “He gave me a lot of firsts in that fight. He was the first guy to give me stitches, the first guy to make me feel like I really lost a fight, and all you can do is take it in your stride and work towards the next thing. It is what it is. It hurts the ego a little bit. But in a week’s time, I’ll be grand. I’ll be back to my s**t-talking ways.”
When asked whether he could turn his fellow martial artist into a Star Wars fan, Staines claimed: “Probably.”
But as it turns out, Frimpong already loves a bit of Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
He asserted: “I do like Star Wars, by the way. I don’t hate Star Wars,” before Staines added: “Best franchise.”
Featured Image Credit: Oktagon MMA