Oktagon 43 Preview; Kincl v Vémola 2, Tournament 1/4 Finals begin

Oktagon are back in their big home arena in Prague, Czechia this Saturday evening. Oktagon 43 will take place in front of up to 18,000 people at the O2 Arena. The event will host eleven mixed martial arts contests, including one for a belt. It will also see the return of the Tipsport Welterweight tournament, with two quarter final bouts on the card.

In the main event of the evening, there’s a rematch of epic proportions. Patrik Kincl (26-10) will put his OKMMA Middleweight championship on the line against a familiar foe. The Hradec Králové man has been a key figure among Europe’s elite for years and has fought before huge audiences for XFN and Oktagon. The Czech has also tested his skills in KSW and ACA. “The Inspector” is at his most lethal in the kickboxing exchanges and has knocked out seriously tough opposition. He’ll have revenge on his mind as his opponent beat him the first time they met. Karlos Vémola (34-6) is perhaps the biggest star in Oktagon and one of the major reasons behind Oktagon’s ascent. The 37-year-old is a UFC veteran and has only lost one bout in the Oktagon cage. “The Terminator” is a deadly threat in the grappling and has a massive nineteen submission victories to his name. The Czech veteran is no one-trick pony, there’s also five knockouts on his résumé. The first fight went to a decision, will the extra ten minutes make a difference here?

David Kozma (13-2) is perhaps the most popular fighter remaining in the Tipsport Welterweight tournament. “The Pink Panther” will certainly be the most colourful in his trademark pink getup. The Karvina man earned his spot with a split decision victory over Łukasz Siwiec. The 30-year-old is a very well-rounded fighter with a high level of stamina. He has a nice ratio of nine knockouts and twelve submissions to date. Former BAMMA champion Alex Lohoré (23-8) comes in as the underdog. The English born Bellator and Cage Warriors veteran also represents France and the Côte d’Ivoire. “Da Killa King” booked his ticket with a decision win against fan favourite Samuel Krištofič. The 33-year-old is an explosive boxer with a mega knockout threat.

In the second of the two quarter finals, Louis Glismann (10-2) looks to extend his win streak to four. The Dane clinched his place by beating Andrej Kalašnik via decision. The Copenhagen man has competed in Brave CF, ARES and Cage Warriors. The 32-year-old is a very talented wrestler and submission player. Melvin van Suijdam (14-5) wasn’t highly touted coming into this tournament, however he proved a lot of naysayers wrong in his decision win against Radovan Úškrt. The Dutchman is an all-rounder who can threaten to end it on the feet and on the mat. He is the LFL Welterweight champion.

Lee Chadwick (28-17-1) makes his Oktagon debut following recent bouts in Cage Warriors, PFL and Bellator. The big Englishman is a gruelling grappler with thirteen submission wins in his long career. The 38-year-old is physically tough and durable. Robert Bryczek (15-5) scored a beautiful right hook knockout in his last appearance back in December. Before that, he had back to back first round knockouts in FEN and MMA Attack. The 32-year-old cement fisted Pole has nine knockouts so far, and will be looking for another. He is a former FEN Welterweight champion.

Mateusz Legierski (8-1) is the former OKMMA Welterweight champion and has also fought in KSW. The Pole is a very slick submission player with a lethal armbar and triangle choke. The 26-year-old is also a competitive kickboxer. The Koniaków man looks to continue his unbeaten Oktagon run. Matěj Kuzník (18-7) has won two on the bounce. The Reinders MMA man is a Jack-of-all-trades and his finishes have been a mix of knockouts and submissions. The Czech is looking to take a huge scalp here.

Robert Pukač (16-10-1) is one of those Oktagon veterans with a mixed record. The Slovakian is a tough lad, is hard to finish and will be very competitive wherever the fight goes. Miroslav Brož (15-3-1) has competed for KSW in the past. The Czech mostly gets it done via decision, however he’s hit a string of knockout wins of late and has a rear naked choke in the locker.

Gianni Melillo (14-8) is a Bellator and ACB veteran. The Italian is a knockout specialist and was one of the pioneers of Italian MMA. There’s only been two wins in his last eight, so the 38-year-old will be desperate to get his hand raised. Marek Mazuch (6-2) has been defeated in his last two after sprinting to a 6-0 pro start. The Slovakian is a hard hitting striker and will be keen to prove he belongs at this level.

Amiran Gogoladze (14-3) saw his chances of tournament progression go up in smoke last time after missing weight and being replaced in the bracket. The Akhaltsikhe man has been offered a route back into the mix in this reserve bout. The Georgian is a fantastic kickboxer with flashy knockout potential. The 25-year-old made an appearance on the Contender Series, however lost due to injuring his shoulder early in the first round. Liam Etebar (8-2) replaces injured Ion Surdu at the final hour. The Englishman makes his promotional debut and has shown great knockout ability on the local U.K. scene. He has also competed for LFL.

Marc Doussis (8-2) comes in from KSW. The UFD Gym prospect is a fantastic striker with knockout power. The German is looking to kickstart his momentum following a defeat last time out. Jose Daniel Toledo Canellas (13-10) has been doing MMA for a long time, debuting as a pro in 2011. The Spaniard has competed for ACA in the past. His most common way to victory is via strikes.

Ahmed Vila (10-4-1) is a Cage Warriors veteran. The Bosnian is an expert in the submission game and has chalked up six of them so far. The 27-year-old is yet to win by knockout. Kimbo Thinghaugen (10-6) is on a three-fight win streak and was a regular on the U.K. scene. The Norwegian is competitive in all realms and is always up for a fight.

We will have the usual YouTube curtain raiser to kick things off. Endrit Brajshori (2-0) has only seen 51 seconds of cage time as a professional. The German born man finished both with strikes. Matěj Daněk (1-0) had an impressive reverse heel hook submission victory in his sole fight. The Czech had a solid amateur career where he made a name for himself by getting finishes.

Oktagon 43 is live from Prague on Saturday night from 17:00 on 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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