With palpable charisma and flawless fashion sense, Oktagon promoter, Ondřej Novotný, has cemented his place as one of the best in the business, and now he’s ready to make a splash in the UK.
Later tonight, his organisation makes its debut in Manchester at the AO Arena with a fantastic card, featuring cancer survivor Aaron Aby fighting UFC veteran, Elias Garcia, for the title and a match-up that pits reality star vs comedian, in the form of Jake Quickenden vs Paul Smith.
Throughout his career in the Czech Republic, the Ostrava-born sensation has emerged as one of the best hosts on the planet, offering his services to his country’s version of Survivor, a reality show in which only the strongest survive.
In a game in which players must outwit, outplay and outlast, while being stranded on a desert island without contact with the outside world, it goes without saying that it takes a truly special competitor to achieve the title of ‘Sole Survivor’.
Ondřej Novotný reveals which Oktagon fighters could win Survivor
As hard as that challenge is, Novotný believes there are two Oktagon fighters capable of going the distance.
In an exclusive interview with Sporf, he said: “I think definitely Jake Quickenden, he’s a reality star. From the fighters, I think the worst are always the bigger guys because they are already suffering, so they need much more fuel. I believe Akonne Wanliss could be the guy because he’s really smart and he’s got a big personality. You need to be a guy who’s willing to play in Survivor; it’s really not easy to be there.”
Wanliss, who goes by the nickname, ‘The Jedi’, has risen to prominence during his time in Oktagon. After winning his first fight in explosive fashion, he’s ready to produce an exceptional performance against ‘The British Slayer’ Jakub Bahnik and throw some Jaffa Cakes into the crowd to celebrate.
The energetic character, who will walk to the cage tonight, in Star Wars-themed attire, is always full of surprises. At the weigh-in, he stuffed a beetroot cuddly toy down his pants and then gifted it to Bryan Lacey.
Novotný laughed: “Yeh, he’s unbelievable. He gave Bryan a special present. Bryan tried to give it to me, but I was like, ‘No’, it’s yours, buddy.”
Ondřej Novotný is a man of exemplary fashion sense
As far as showmen go, Novotný is right up there with the best of them. In addition to his impressive levels of wit and charm, he’s renowned for wearing the flashiest blazers known to man.
Whenever Oktagon fans take their seat in the arena, they know they’re in for a treat, as the Czech sensation will burst into the cage with remarkable levels of enthusiasm, all while wearing an outfit worthy of being worn by a king. But what will he be sporting tonight?
The promoter teased: “I haven’t seen it yet. My dresser is always asking me what I want, but I said, ‘I haven’t got time, you pick’. In the last two tournaments, she’s chosen, and it was perfect, so I can just leave it to her. This time, it’s going to be a red colour, but with something extra.”
Ultimately, whatever his dresser chooses is bound to catch the eye of the fans, especially when he welcomes Quickenden and Smith to the cage.
Jake Quickenden and Paul Smith are ready to go to war
The 46-year-old asserted: “Their journey is unbelievable. These two guys have put everything on the line. I recommend that everyone watches Stage to the Cage, because you will see how much they have suffered and how crazy a sport MMA is.
“I don’t know what to expect because sometimes Jake looks like the kind of guy that can do any sport and is always perfect, and Paul is just a guy who makes people laugh, but not a sporty guy on first look. However, when the cage door closes, everything could be different. It’s about who is stronger mentally. Paul could definitely be the guy. I expect it to be fun. I hope it goes more than a round so they can soak everything in. No matter what, I think they will be satisfied whether they win or lose.”
Aaron Aby has the greatest story in Oktagon history
While the battle between the two celebrity titans has captured the imagination, the tale of Aaron Aby has won the hearts of the public on an entirely different level.
Born with cystic fibrosis, the warrior overcame all the odds to make it as a fighter. But then, tragedy struck when he was diagnosed with cancer. However, while that situation would’ve been enough to break even the hardest of men, Aby’s fighting spirit shone through. He fought his way back to full health, and at Oktagon 48, he has the opportunity of a lifetime when he takes on UFC icon, Elias Garcia, for championship glory.
Novotný concluded: “I was so touched by everything Aaron Aby said in his speech at the weigh-in. He said that tomorrow night is his destiny. He said he wanted to go into the fifth round, with it being 2-2 on the scorecards and finishing his Cinderella story. I was almost crying. For him, I believe it will be what he’s hoping for; I’m also rooting for Elias Garcia. But Aby is something special; it’s an unbelievable story. I’m thrilled to have him here.”
Featured Image Credit: Oktagon MMA / Survivor