Pavol Neruda on why open scoring will change the dynamics of Oktagon fights for the better

Imagine Karlos Vemola and Samuel Krištofič bloodied and bruised after two sensational rounds of action, only to discover that it’s one-one going into the final segment, leaving both men in the cage and the 20,000 fans in the arena, knowing that everything rests on the final five minutes. Well, that could very well be the case tonight at Oktagon 51 at the O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic, and promoter, Pavol Neruda, can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Since his leap into the world of MMA, the 40-year-old has changed the combat sports landscape forever, growing the sport exponentially in Europe. Alongside his close friend and business partner Ondřej Novotný, he’s taken over the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany, through his remarkable events. With sublime light shows, a raucous atmosphere and a charismatic gorilla mascot, named, Gogi, the pair have created a spectacle that gives fans memories that will last a lifetime.

YouTube video

Pavol Neruda is buzzing for open scoring at Oktagon 51

The Slovakian’s latest idea is set to add an extra element of excitement to tonight’s card. With the finale of the Tisport Gamechanger tournament between Bojan Veličković and Andreas Michailidis set to rock the arena, fans are undeniably in for a treat, especially considering that the bout will have the implementation of open scoring.

In an exclusive interview with Sporf, Neruda said: “I’m super curious about this because we are the first of all the big promotions in the world to do it. I can’t wait to see how the crowd reacts. It’s like gamification or something; it’s like a game, we’ll be more into it. I’m 100% sure that people will be more invested in the fight and pay more attention.”

YouTube video

He continued: “The round will finish, and the judges will make their score, the supervisors will collect it, and then we will show it on the big screen and the broadcast between the rounds. I’m looking forward to seeing the reaction if it’s a close fight. 


“The teams and the fighters will be looking, checking, saying, ‘We’re losing or we’re winning’. I think it will change the dynamics of fights, especially ones that are close. I’m super excited. I’m asking myself why we haven’t done this before, I think it’s so good. We will see; it’s the first time, there could be some mistakes, it’s new technology, but it’s going to be crazy. The dynamics will change for the better.”

Pavol Neruda wants to continue changing the game with Oktagon MMA

With a love for MMA coursing through his veins, Neruda is determined to continue innovating the sport he holds so close to his heart. Ultimately, Oktagon has made its mark as a promotion that’s willing to do things their own way, and through endless hours of hard work, they’ve become Europe’s biggest attraction. But they’re a long way from done.

Neruda beamed: “It’s a beautiful way of showing who we are. We are different; we are much more family and fan-orientated. We are following our visions and dreams, because we love it. We’re so passionate about the sport. If you have a passion for anything when you’re driving home, your thoughts are all about that passion, we’re constantly thinking and coming up with new ideas. We’ve had loads of ideas work and many that didn’t, but that’s part of the game; you need to try many things and some work, and they’ll be amazing. Gogi is a small part, but he’s such an important way of entertaining people. We know we have kids and young people in the audience, having fun with Gogi. It shows that we bring family entertainment.”

Pavol Neruda has big plans for the future of Oktagon MMA

Neruda added: “We want to do more with show elements and entertain people way more. It’s crazy complicated and expensive, but we are getting there and working on it. And for the people watching at home on TV, we want to be the first in new AI technology and use it for better entertainment of the viewers. We are living in an era where nobody is watching a 90-minute football game in full without checking their phone, and it’s the same with MMA. When the round is done, they start scrolling on their phone, ‘No’; we want to change that and offer better entertainment by sucking them into the action. So we are working on lots of new things to increase their involvement.”

Featured Image Credit: Oktagon MMA