European MMA promotion OKTAGON is back with another packed show airing live from Festhalle in Frankfurt, Germany. The show will be headlined by a 181-pound catchweight rematch between Christian Eckerlin and Denilson Neves de Oliveira and is littered with UFC veterans and up-and-comers moving down the rest of the card, making for what should be an excitinge show.
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Fight fans can purchase and watch OKTAGON 36 on the promotion’s official website. The show is slated to begin at Noon ET/9 a.m. PT.
Eckerlin vs. Neves II
Eckerlin is set to square off with “Trator” for the second time in as many fights. The first fight ended in controversy when the referee called a low blow on Eckerlin that was much debated after the fact. The fight continued with Eckerlin earning himself a second-round stoppage, but the German commission’s investigation into the matter led to the fight being ruled a no-contest retroactively. Eckerlin told Sherdog he called for the rematch personally, and is looking forward to settling the score with the Brazilian once and for all.
Eckerlin has made a name for himself as one of the top rising fighters out of Germany. After starting his career 7-5, he has gone on to reel off seven-consecutive victories, working his way onto the radar of top European promotions OKTAGON and KSW. Eckerlin is a classic mixed martial artist who prefers to strike but knows how to finish a fight if his opponent gives up their back. Neves, meanwhile, has been up-and-down as of late. Still just 26, “Trator” actually had the best run of his career between 2015 and 2016 when he won nine-straight fights. He has since gone 5-5-1 and will be looking to spoil the German’s night in what could be a hostile environment.
Kimball vs. Moeil
UFC veteran Jeremy Kimball is just one of several former UFC competitors on Saturday’s card. He will take on another promising German fighter in Hatef Moeil, a winner in each of his last eight contests. Kimball, meanwhile, went just 1-3 in the UFC, but has since reversed fortune by going 3-1 in OKTAGON. Two of those wins came against Miloš Petrášek, who is also scheduled to compete on Saturday, at light heavyweight, and he moved up to heavyweight in his most recent fight, a first-round knockout over Thomas Narmo which came by way of leg kicks.
Standing a 6-feet tall, Kimball is small for the heavyweight division despite earning a first-round knockout his last time out. His opponent, Moeil, has fought exclusively in the heavyweight division throughout his 16-fight career and will carry a near-three inch reach advantage with him into the cage. He is also no stranger to knockouts himself, having stopped each of his last four opponents due to strikes. The matchup should produce an exciting heavyweight fight, however, as neither fighter is a stranger to tough competition.
Rest of the Card
The remainder of the card will feature fighters from all over the world looking to make a name for themselves. German Stephan Puetz (21-5) will look to put on a show in front of the home fans against Czech fighter Petrášek. UFC veteran Bojan Veličković (12-6), who once earned a Performance of the Night bonus for his knockout of Nico Musoke, will fight for the fifth time in OKTAGON when he faces fellow ex-UFC athlete Leandro Silva, who came to the UFC as a member of the second season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil. Elsewhere on the main card, Samuel Krištofič (15-4) will face Zdeněk Polívka (8-5) at middleweight, and a welterweight clash between Máté Kertész (12-5) and fan-favorite German Christian Jungwirth (12-5) will open the main card. Jungwirth won a fun and competitive fight against the Hungarian just last year, one that went to a split decision.
The prelims will be headlined by the return of England’s John Hathaway to MMA. Hathaway, a one-time highly touted UFC prospect, left the sport prematurely due to an eight-year battle with ulcerative colitis. However, Hathaway never considered hanging up the gloves and is determined to continue and finish his career on his own terms. If he can defeat Brazilian André Ricardo on Saturday, he could be UFC bound before long.
“I didn’t finish my career in the way that I wanted to finish it,” Hathaway told The MMA Hour. “I felt like it was a little bit taken away from me, and I’m just lucky that I managed to bring this around and get to where I can compete and do stuff again.”
Another former UFC name scheduled to compete on Saturday is Mallory Martin, who will face Katharina Dalisda in her first fight outside the world’s leading organization. Martin left the UFC after dropping her third fight in her last four appearances, but picked up a performance bonus of her own for her submission of Hannah Ciphers back in August 2020. Other fights of note include Sweden’s Nermin Hajdarpašić putting his 4-0 record on the line against German Alexander Poppeck, and the Czech Republic’s Jakub Bahník opening the show against 2-0 German Jamie Cordero.
OKTAGON 36 Results
Christian Eckerlin def. Denilson Neves de Oliveira via Submission (RNC) at 4:37 of Round 4
Hatef Moeil def. Jeremy Kimball via TKO (punches) at 1:05 of Round 2
Stephan Puetz def. Miloš Petrášek via Unanimous Decision (29-27, 30-26, 29-27)
Leandro Silva def. Bojan Veličković via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Samuel Krištofič def. Zdeněk Polívka via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Máté Kertész def. Christian Jungwirth via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
John Hathaway def. André Ricardo via Unanimous Decision (30-26, 30-24, 30-26)
Alexander Poppeck def. Nermin Hajdarpašić via TKO (punches) at 1:43 of Round 1
Hojat Khajevand def. Václav Mikulášek via Verbal Submission (RNC) at 1:03 of Round 2
Ebrahim Hosseinpour def. Marek Bartl via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Katharina Dalisda def. Mallory Martin via Unanimous Decision
Jakub Bahník def. Jaime Cordero via Disqualification (Illegal Kick) at :20 of Round 2