While this Sunday is devoted to the biggest day of the calendar on the gridiron of American football, the Saturday before gameday is a day filled with action inside MMA cages throughout the world. Your day-night doubleheader of fights gets started early in the afternoon (USA time) with fights from Germany.
Czech Republic-based OKTAGON MMA returns for its second card in three weeks when Oberhausen’s Rudolf-Weber Arena is the host venue for OKTAGON 53. As always, live coverage of this event is exclusive to DAZN inside the United States of America.
Live coverage of OKTAGON 53 kicks off at 12 noon ET/ 9 am PT on the subscription-based streaming service. All told, absent of any cancellations on the slate between now and fight night, the final version of this card features 10 fights.
Rematch for Strawweight Championship in OKTAGON 54 Main Event Saturday
Highlighting the day’s activities in Oberhausen is a rematch between two competitors, but this time, the stakes are raised. Incumbent OKTAGON MMA Strawweight Champion Katharina Dalisda (10-3 MMA, 4-0 OKTAGON), a veteran of Bellator MMA, puts her strap at risk when she meets challenger and No. 1 contender Eva Dourthe (8-5 MMA, 1-0 OKTAGON).
This championship fight in the OKTAGON 54 main event is an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close the show.
Dalisda vs. Dourthe: The Series So Far
Saturday’s main event is the second all-time meeting between Katharina Dalisda and Eva Dourthe. Back in December of 2021, right before the Christmas holiday, Dourthe took the initial confrontation between these two women by unanimous decision in National Fighting Championship 7 in Dusseldorf.
Chapter one of the story was a nontitle fight, but the second chapter of the tale will have a belt going to the winner. How will the rematch play out in the OKTAGON 53 main event?
Eva Dourthe (8-5) 🇫🇷
✅ 3 fight winning run
✅ #1 ranked OKTAGON strawweight
✅ Cage Warriors and Hexagone veteran
Can she defeat Dalisda in their rematch and become our first French champion?
— OKTAGON MMA (@OktagonOfficial) February 5, 2024
OKTAGON 54 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds
Heading into the OKTAGON 54 main event on Saturday, challenger Eva Dourthe stands as the taller combatant at 5-foot-4, compared to the 5-foot-3 frame of champion Katharina Dalisda. Dalisda owns a 63.4-inch reach, with no such information available for Dourthe at press time.
Currently, the oddsmakers have Katharina Dalisda as a -333 favourite on the money line, while Eva Dourthe is a +225 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend, please wager responsibly.
Promotional Banner Doesn’t Matter for Katharina Dalisda Ahead of OKTAGON 54 Main Event
Champion Katharina Dalisda has posted a record of 5-0 in her last five MMA fights. Most recently, she scored a third-round submission (guillotine choke) against Jacinta Austin (5-2 MMA, 1-1 OKTAGON) on Sept. 16 during OKTAGON 46’s main event to win the inaugural OKTAGON MMA Strawweight Championship.
Saturday’s headlining bout is a “home game” for Dalisda, who will be fighting with her fellow nationals in the crowd. Although she’s the first female champion from Germany in OKTAGON MMA, she recently told Cageside Press that honing her craft is what matters most to her.
“I’m not so focused on where I’m fighting,” Dalisda said. “I just want to fight good opponents. Improve myself more and more. I just want to see a development from fight to fight, to stay on an optimization streak.”
🏆 2023 OKTAGON MMA Awards 🏆
You voted for Katharina Dalisda 🇩🇪 as your female fighter of the year.
In 2023, she stopped de Pádua and Austin, winning strawweight gold. ‘Tigress’ returns on Saturday at OKTAGON 53 to defend her belt!
— OKTAGON MMA (@OktagonOfficial) February 7, 2024
Will she defend the belt in front of her fans? Tune in on Saturday and find out.
Eva Dourthe Faces Quick Turnaround
In the other corner, Eva Dourthe, an alumnus of Cage Warriors, has gone 3-2 over the past five appearances. She’s stepping into the cage again after having just fought roughly a month and a half ago, winning by unanimous decision against Chiara Penco (8-5 MMA, 0-1 OKTAGON) on Dec. 30 during the OKTAGON 51 undercard from Prague.
Going from the prelims of a card to the main event in the span of two fights is impressive, but to do it within the span of about a month and a half is more amazing. At the same time, however, some questions have cropped up, salient ones at that.
How much of a training camp has she had? What kind of game plan have her coaches put together with only a few weeks between matches?
Only time will tell what the answers are.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Saturday’s OKTAGON 53 main event looks to be an even matchup, with both women having great ground games.
Look For Dalisda to Hunt for a Sub
Given that Katharina Dalisda is a judoka by trade, it stands to reason that her ground game could tell the story this weekend. Just look at her fight against Jacinta Austin for a prime example.
During the third round of a scheduled five, Dalisda and Austin clinched up briefly before the former threw feints to keep the latter honest. They stalked one another with Dalisda still mixing in a few feints until she drove Austin to the cage mat.
Dalisda dumped Austin a second time and locked up a guillotine from mount a few seconds later.
If Katharina Dalisda can put Eva Dourthe down just once, she’ll be on the road to successfully defending the title in the OKTAGON 53 main event.
Dourthe Can Hang With Any Opponent
In the other corner, Eva Dourthe is also adept on the ground. You don’t have to travel too far into the tape library to find an example, all you have to do is turn on the video of her most recent fight.
Throughout the first two rounds of her fight against Chiara Penco, Dourthe took Penco down four times and established control of the contest. She had to withstand a scare in the third round when Penco assumed back mount and softened her up with ground and pound shots.
Despite Penco’s late surge, Dourthe reversed the script and landed a hip toss to take top control from the back herself. Should Dalisda try to take Dourthe to the mat, she need not worry, because she’s got the skill set to go the distance against her if need be.
The OKTAGON 53 main event should be a classic. One final word of advice before we say good night: Don’t expect this fight to be on the feet for too long.
Prediction: Katharina Dalisda by Fourth-Round Submission.