One of Europe’s fastest-growing MMA promotions, Oktagon MMA makes its return this coming Saturday with the organisation holding Oktagon 53 in Oberhausen, Germany. With a title fight and a stacked main card, this is surely not a card to be missed.
Katharina Daslida vs Eva Dourthe
A title is on the line in the main event as the Strawweight championship will be up for grabs. Current champion, Katharina Dalisda will be looking to make the first defence of the belt that she won last September with a victory over Jacinta Austin. Riding an impressive five-fight win streak Dalisda has shown that she is at the very top of the pile in European MMA.
Also notable is that her last two fights have both ended in finishes, something that is somewhat rarer in lighter weight classes. Dalisda appears to have greased the groove, however, and with a knockout and a submission victory in her last two contests will be looking to extend not only her winning streak but her finishing record also. Of course, Daslida will also take comfort in the fact that she won the previous fight against Dourthe via unanimous decision back in 2021.
Eva Dourthe took a year away from active competition after the loss against Daslida and was not seen for all of 2022. The loss put the cherry on top of what was already a bad run of form leaving her 1-3 in her last four fights. Yet since making her return to the octagon in 2023, Eva Dourthe has looked like a significantly improved fighter and this has been seen in the three-fight winning streak she has enjoyed since. Climbing her way back into contention at Strawweight, Dourthe will be looking to dispel the memories of the past as she takes on Daslida, ultimately proving that she has undoubtedly evolved into a different level as a fighter.
🏆 Strawweight Title Fight 🏆
The main event at OKTAGON 53 tomorrow night is official.
Katharina Dalisda – 51.9kg/114lbs ✅
Eva Dourthe – 52.1kg/115lbs ✅
Who leaves Oberhausen with the belt?
— OKTAGON MMA (@OktagonOfficial) February 9, 2024
Islam Dulatov vs Ioannis Palaiologos
Islam Dulatov is set to make his debut for Oktagon and is most definitely a name that fans should familiarise themselves with. An impressive record of 9-1 with every victory coming via finish shows that Dulatov is a serious contender already and has the potential to reach the very top of the European MMA scene. Five knockouts and four submissions show he is equally adept on the feet as well as on the ground, Only making out of the first round once in his career, Dulatov is someone who clearly starts fast and aims to finish the fight with every move he makes. With hugely impressive physical advantages for Welterweight, Dulatov stands 192cm tall and possesses a massive 195cm reach. A man with the frame of a Heavyweight and fighting at Welterweight is almost unheard of and Dulatov appears to be doing it to great effect. He’s certainly one to keep an eye on.
His opponent Ioannis Palaiologos would normally have the size advantage in his own fights yet will have to give that up on this occasion. Now on a two-fight win streak, Palaiologos has found somewhat mixed fortunes in recent years going 2-3 in his last five bouts. Yet coming off the back of two first-round submission victories will certainly give him a massive boost in confidence and a victory over a massive prospect like Dulatov could be just the thing he needs to kickstart his push for a title shot.
Miroslav Borz vs Tom Crosby
Undefeated in seven fights with six wins and a single draw, Miroslav Broz finds himself on an excellent run of form in recent times, the fighter from the Czech Republic will be hoping to extend his winning run and add a notable name to the list of scalps that he has claimed. A dominant performance over Tom Crosby could result in a big boost for Borz up the rankings, and perhaps next he finds himself in a title eliminator at 77kgs.
Tom Crosby will be hoping that he can re-establish the momentum that he found toward the beginning of his career. Once 5-1 Crosby has gone 2-2 in his last four fights leaving his overall record at a still very healthy 8-3. Yet a win over a name like Borz would undoubtedly be the biggest name on his record and he would certainly announce himself on the European MMA scene.
Hojat Khajevand vs David Zawada
Another Middleweight bout sees Hojat Khajevand defend the #5 ranking next to his name. Khajevand has managed two impressive submission victories in his last two appearances in Oktagon and knows that if he were to increase his win streak to three, possibly with another finish then that would do wonders for his position in the rankings, and likely he would find himself fighting up the rankings in his next bout, rather than defending his own as he will be in the contest.
David Zawada will be returning to the European circuit after a not-so-successful run in the UFC and then the PFL afterwards. Yet despite this recent rut of form, Zawada is still an extremely dangerous opponent, the man after all was once 16-3 and being touted as one of the biggest prospects to emerge from Europe. Still only 33, Zawada will be significantly more experienced than Khajevand and knows that if he manages to pick up a victory, a possible title shot likely won’t be too far behind.
Cihad Akipa vs Ivica Truscek
The opening bout on the main card highlights a serious prospect in Cihad Akipa. A man who has also dabbled in kickboxing, fighting several times for GLORY including against legend Murthel Groenhart. Cihad Akipa also has an extremely respectable MMA career with a 6-1 record. Making his Oktagon debut in his last fight, Akipa would pick up the sole loss of his career against veteran fighter Matthew Bonner via Unanimous Decision. Still less than ten fights into his career, the fight provided a massive learning experience for Akipa who was unable to break down the crafty veteran Bonner. Now being offered a chance to hit the ground running, Akipa will once again fight against an opponent with far more experience than himself, though admittedly one not at the skill level of Bonner.
Ivica Truscek is the definition of an MMA veteran. With over 15 years of experience and 81 fights to his name, there are not many who have had a career such as Truscek. His record is an unheard-of 42-39 and is slowly creeping up on 100 total career fights. While his longevity and toughness are extremely impressive, if Akipa is hoping to make a serious career out of MMA then he will have to be able to use what he learned in the fight against Bonner to great effect against Truscek, anything other than a dominating performance will not point him towards the top of the division.