Oktagon 50 Preview; Keita v Samsonidse, Paradeiser v Buchinger 2

Oktagon will return to our screens with another action packed card this Saturday evening. Oktagon 50 will take place in the Silesian region of Central Europe. Ostrava is known to be one of the toughest areas of Czechia, and fights in this hall always deliver. The Ostravar Arena will host eleven mixed martial arts bouts, including two title fights.

Losene Keita (11-1) is one of the best and most entertaining fighters on the Oktagon roster. The Guinean is the former OKMMA Lightweight champion and former Featherweight interim belt holder. The 25-year-old succumbed to a foot injury early in the first round of the FW title unification bout against Mate Sanikidze. That same title is back on the line here after Sanikidze dropped down to bantamweight and vacated. Keita trains out of Belgium and is an amazing striker with great footwork and damaging power. Seven of his wins have come via knockout. Niko Samsonidse (10-2) was born in Germany of Georgian heritage, and he’s aiming to keep the belt next to the five-cross flag. Like many with Caucus blood, the 28-year-old has an impressive wrestling game which allows him to open up his submissions. His BJJ game revolves mostly around his rear naked choke, however you can’t really hang around on the ground with him as he has more than a few tricks up his sleeve. Samsonidse has also been known to crack you on the feet and win via KO. Will Keita finally become the full OKMMA double champ or will Mother of Georgia welcome her belt back home.

The second title fight is for Keita’s old OKMMA Lightweight championship. Ivan Buchinger (41-8) is a man who knows about gold, picking up several during his legendary European MMA career. From Cage Warriors to XFN to M-1 Global to Oktagon, “Buki” is one of the most successful to compete in MMA on the continent. The Slovakian has one of the best submission games on the scene, having won twenty-four via tap out. On the feet, Buchinger has knockout power, winning a quarter of his fights with his striking. Very few fighters in history can boast this amount of big fight experience. He’ll face former foe and compatriot Ronald Paradeiser (17-8). Revenge is the order of the day after losing the first bout via submission. The 26-year-old has a karate background and most of his success in the striking exchanges, scoring ten knockouts. The Slovakian is riding high on the back of a four-fight winning streak. He’ll be keen to show how much he’s improved since the first fight in January 2021.

Samuel Bark (8-2) is a young man with bags of talent and the brass to take on the toughest tests at European MMA’s top table. The Swede is a mean Muay Thai specialist who punishes his opponents with huge damage. The Cage Warriors veteran has already taken scalps such as Tobias Harila and Manny Akpan so far. He’s boarding the plane to Czechia for a knockout. Vladimír Lengál (6-2) will be laying out the welcome mat for him. The Czech will take the 2.5hr trip from Znojmo to showcase his own boxing skills. Vlado has competed as a pro in many combat sports including boxing and Muay Thai, and one thing has been common everywhere, bodies have hit the floor. This man does not waste the ink in any judge’s pen.

Matěj Peňáz (7-1) is a Contender Series veteran and one of Czechia’s brightest prospects. The 27-year-old is from a kickboxing and Muay Thai background, where he has vast experience to add to his MMA knowledge. The middleweight has great fundamentals, nice technique and the power to end things early. He flies out of the blocks. Ole Magnor (8-7) is a tough customer whose record only looks the way it does because he’s faced a murderer’s row of top European talent. The Norwegian is strong at submissions and can surprise on the feet. He’s beatable, however you need to do your job to the letter to do so.

Rafael “Kratos” Xavier (12-7) has become a reliable Oktagon mainstay. The Brazilian now lives in Germany, which has allowed him to mix his slick Jiu Jitsu with solid Central European kickboxing. The 32-year-old’s Plan A will be to keep the fight on the feet, where he will try and use his power. Dan Vinni (24-17-2) is a man bursting with experience. The Brit is a true martial artist and blends it all in well. The 36-year-old is as dangerous on the feet as he is on the ground, and he’s even fought bare knuckle in the past. He’s another that doesn’t leave things in the hands of the judges.

Stefano Catacoli (6-1) makes his Oktagon debut after the unfortunate withdrawal of uber talented Hafeni Nafuka. The Englishman is a protégé of Brad Pickett in GB Top Team. Submissions are his biggest threat and he goes to a decision more often than not. Jan Široký (13-15) is a very popular hometown fighter. The Czech is of kill or be killed stock and has no fear in going out on his sword. Everything is in play for the Ostrava man, he can grapple and he can strike. He’ll take risks and try to use his toughness and experience to his advantage.

Matěj Kuzník (18-8) is another hometown hero, now training out of Reinders MMA in Prague. The Czech is a solid allrounder who is durable enough to go to a decision, yet also dangerous enough to get the knockout of submission. The 28-year-old has a 50/50 record in Oktagon and is also fun to watch. Ebrahim Hosseinpour (7-7) rides into enemy territory from Berlin. The German likes to do his business on the feet. The 40-year-old swings with grave intention and will either floor you or take a smack back himself.

Máté Kertész (13-7) is an Oktagon regular and Bellator veteran. Most of his victories come via decision nowadays, however he’s a threat on the feet with his five knockout wins. The Hungarian is nicknamed “Cold Blooded” which is a pretty apt moniker. Ammari Diedrick (4-1) fights out of the East Midlands in the U.K and has competed for ARES and LFL. The Englishman came into MMA from Glory kickboxing and naturally will cause most problems in those ranges.

Ondřej Raška (9-8) will travel up from Brno. The Czech will strap on the Oktagon gloves for a ninth time and is mostly dangerous in the submission game. Michal Kotalík (6-6) trains out of Reinders MMA in Prague. The 28-year-old’s Plan A will be to go for a knockout, however he does have a submission in him.

James Lewis (8-5) returns for his third promotional bout. The Englishman is well rounded, however has had way more success in the submission game in the last few years. Marek Bartl (11-12) is from the small town of Přerov, not far from Ostrava. The Czech has a solid boxing foundation and has fought in multiple combat sports. His backup plan is his submissions, however Lewis should be stronger in that realm.

The YouTube free fight will see the return of Marco Novák (2-1). The Slovakian is a promising submission player who has also competed in kickboxing and Muay Thai. Michal Konrád (8-10) is an Oktagon veteran and is a jack-of-all-trades, with a favouritism for the grappling game.

Oktagon 50 is live from Ostrava 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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