Oktagon 47 Preview; Vémola v Langer, Buchinger returns

Oktagon return to Slovakia for their latest big show this Saturday night. The Tipos Arena hosts the city’s second promotional event of the year, and we’ll be treated to ten bouts under Oktagon MMA rules, including one for a title.

The OKMMA Light Heavyweight title will be on the line in  the main event of the evening. Former champion Karlos Vémola (35-7) has had a very active year and steps into the cage for the fourth time, including dropping down a weight to try and claim middleweight gold (which he vacated his LHW strap to do). The 38-year-old is a UFC veteran and one of the biggest stars in the region. The Czech has a mostly one dimensional game plan, march you to the cage, take you down and get the submission. He’s already finished nineteen opponents that way. Pavol Langer (12-9) is the current holder of the belt. The Slovakian won it in his last bout via split decision against Alexander Poppeck. The Košica man comes from a karate background and has won his last three on-the-bounce. The big man is also good at snatching the back and synching in the rear naked choke. He’ll likely need a finish, which is rare against “The Terminator” Vémola.

Ivan Buchinger (40-8) is a legend of European MMA and is like a magpie picking up shiny trophies from various top promotions, such as Cage Warriors, M-1 Global and XFN. “Buki” is also a former OKMMA Lightweight champion. The 37-year-old isn’t just a man on Conor McGregor’s highlight reel, he’s been responsible for some of the best performances the continent has seen. The Slovakian is a whizz in the submission game with a plethora of chokes at his disposal. On the feet, he’s got a smashing kickboxing repertoire. Jakub Dohnal (12-3) is one of the newer stars in Central European MMA. The 31-year-old started out as a submission specialist in his career, however has turned into a complete fighter who can dominate over fifteen minutes. The Czech hasn’t had a finish since 2019.

Adam Pałasz (8-2) isn’t a man in it for the long haul, he wants to be back at the hotel before the restaurant closes. Polish fighters are often lauded for their “legendary power”, however few are as deserving of that moniker as “Adaś z jawora”. If his hooks connect, you’re not being mercifully thrown back into the water, it’s game over. Sofiane Boukichou (10-6) is a familiar face from the Cage Warriors scene before the turn of the decade, and also being the first man to welcome Reug Reug into mixed martial arts. The Frenchman trains a lot of boxing, however has only converted that into one knockout. He’s had more joy on the deck with his ground and pound, and his rear naked chokes. The PFL and UAE Warriors veteran is unlikely to want to stay upright in this one.

Mateusz Legierski (9-1) is a former OKMMA Welterweight Champion and a man in need of a bit of activity due to an unfortunate slew of injuries in recent years. The Pole has bundles of talent and a very well rounded game, however has struggled for momentum. The 27-year-old is an exciting kickboxer that causes damage, who can also back it up with a wrestling game. Submissions are not off the table. Karol Ryšavý (12-5) is a man he was meant to fight last November before pulling out. The Slovakian has proved to be a well rounded fighter and is very experienced under the Oktagon banner. The 30-year-old is very dangerous on the feet with his power, and has a nice armbar in his arsenal.

Marek Mazuch (7-2) is a talent with a lot of potential looking to string some wins together. The Slovakian almost exclusively gets his hand raised using his striking. The 27-year-old has five knockout wins and likes to take his time to download the data early before putting you away midway through the fight. Jamie Cordero (4-1) is another guy with a lot of upside. The German has really levelled up in his last two bouts with finishes with a head kick and another starting with a big right hook. This young man is vicious and mean.

Łukasz Siwiec (9-2) was one of the brightest spots of the Tipsport Gamechanger tournament despite defeat in the first matchup. The Pole is a former Babilon MMA Welterweight Champion and is coming in off the back of an impressive win against UFC veteran John Hathaway. The Radom man is a very strong grappler with heavy ground and pound. The 31-year-old has a great ability at taking the back. Amiran Gogoladze (15-3) has been hovering at the top of European MMA for a while now. Injury cost him in his Contender Series bout, and he started building back towards another opportunity by beating Liam Etebar in May. The Georgian is dangerous everywhere. The 25-year-old has a punishing kickboxing game and like a lot of people from the region, his grappling is at a great level.

Robert Pukač (16-11-1) isn’t on the best run of form, coming into this with just two wins from eight. Most of his wins have come via decision, with the odd knockout and submission. The Slovakian is generally a tough man to finish. Matouš Kohout (8-6) has won five of his last eight. The Czech comes from a Muay Thai background and half his wins have been via knockout. He’ll be patient and pick his moment to try and land a big knee or elbow to change things dramatically.

Gustavo Lopez (13-7-1) is a former Combate Global champion and trains out of Xtreme Couture under Eric Nicksick. The American is a solid allrounder and isn’t one to settle for a finish. The UFC veteran has good wrestling, heavy ground and pound and a mean guillotine. Beno Adamia (9-8-2) is a member of the “records are for DJs” club, taking some ill advised fights in ACA and M-1 Global before he was ready. The Georgian has got his career back on track with three wins in-a-row. The Tbilisi man is a strong grappler and a tricky submission player.

Veronika Smolkova (2-2) is a veteran of the GAMMA amateur scene and has been a regular on the new United Fight League shows in America. The Slovakian was most dangerous in her amateur stint with her striking and she possesses a decent bit of power. Megan Morris (1-2) steps in on short notice to save this fight after the previous opponent pulled out. The Englishwoman is an IMMAF veteran. The 25-year-old is very tough and hard to finish, regularly going the distance. She is generally decent everywhere.

The YouTube free prelim will see big Adam Horváth (10-6) debut for the promotion. The Hungarian is a submission artist with a particularly good triangle choke, which is aided by his long legs. The 6ft6in middleweight picked up his first knockout victory in his last fight. Ahmed Sami (10-3) will also be making his first experience, and he’s a UAE Warriors, Levels Fight League and Brave CF veteran. The Egyptian is the more rounded fighter, splitting his finishes evenly beaten knockouts and submissions. The 29-year-old has competed at a very solid level so far and will be a tricky man to beat in the division.

In addition to the above, there will be a Muay Thai bout between hometown hero Lucia “The Silent Killer” Szabová and Sweden’s Alexandra Andersrod.

Oktagon 47 is live from Bratislava on Saturday night from 17:00 on Channel 4, Oktagon.tv and DAZN.

Seán Denny is a Dublin man who writes mostly on the European scene, with a keen interest in the Irish, UK and Polish scenes in particular. Follow me on Twitter at @DennyRants.

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