With fantastic fights, a remarkable light show, and a charismatic gorilla mascot named ‘Gogi’, Oktagon MMA have taken over Europe, most recently shattering the German MMA attendance record for their spectacular event at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne.
Through hard work, grit and determination, promoters Pavol Neruda and Ondrej Novotný have done everything in their power to create a product that gives fans memories that will last a lifetime.
And on Saturday evening, 19,000 MMA enthusiasts packed inside the arena to cheer on their heroes in a night of drama, twists and incredible action.
In a testament to the mesmerising empire Oktagon has created, the organisation obliterated the previous German attendance record held by the UFC by a whopping 7400. And it’s clear to see why.
The love the German people have for their favourite fighters, knows no bounds, with the crowd erupting as the likes of Christian Ekerlin and Deniz Ilbay walked to the cage.
And while both men lost, their adoring followers remained on the train, screaming their idols’ names at the top of their lungs in a statement that showcased that their fandom far transcends the confines of the mere result of a fight.
Oktagon 49 delivered in abundance
The main event gave shooting survivor and German icon, Hatef Moeil, the opportunity to complete his Cinderella story by claiming the vacant heavyweight title. But it wasn’t easy, as his Bulgarian adversary, Lazar Todev, didn’t come to lie down.
Following a razor-close five rounds, in which both fighters had their moments, it was the crowd favourite who picked up the decision victory.
The night served as the latest chapter in Oktagon’s German takeover, with 2024 set to deliver huge cards in Oberhausen and Stuttgart.
In the aftermath of the event, Oktagon co-owner Pavol Neruda commented: “We rewrote history tonight on the German MMA scene. Thank you to team OKTAGON, from the fighters, fans, media and everyone else who was a part of this epic evening.”
Oktagon continues its UK adventure in Newcastle
On what served as a spectacular night for the Brits, all three English fighters came away victorious.
Following a 35-second loss to Armand Herczeg in Oktagon Challenge: England vs Ireland, Jake McHugh bounced back, overcoming his backstage nerves to submit European Sambo Champion, Ivan Klevets, in the second round.
Opening up the main card, Matthew Bonner, flipped the tables, outstriking Glory kickboxer, Cihad Akipa, en route to a unanimous decision victory.
But the highlight of the night came from none other than Corey Fry. The North West Fight Academy star walked out into enemy territory against Deniz Ilbay and came out on top. Exhibiting sublime fighting spirit, he survived an early scare, to lock in a first-round armbar.
Blown away by his destructive Oktagon debut, the promoters awarded the 28-year-old a €5000 Performance of the Night bonus.
The English voice of Oktagon MMA, Bryan Lacey, said: “Some records are there to be broken. Others are there to be smashed! What a night in Cologne, and a great night for the English fighters, going 3-0 on this historic night.”
The epic evening left English fans chomping at the bit to experience an Oktagon event in person. And luckily, they don’t have long to wait. Following a fantastic UK debut in Manchester, Europe’s number one promotion will travel to the Utilita Arena in Newcastle on January 27.
And with a grudge match between Jonas Mågård and Jack Cartwright already confirmed, it looks like MMA enthusiasts are in for a treat.
Featured Image Credit: Oktagon MMA