Oktagon 56 Main Event Breakdown

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While the 2024 NBA Playoffs begin Saturday afternoon with a 1 pm ET tipoff time for a game between the No. 4 seed Cleveland Cavaliers and No. 5 seed Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in downtown Cleveland, OH, internationally, MMA takes center stage. Czech Republic-based Oktagon MMA heads to the United Kingdom for Oktagon 56.

Resorts World Arena in Birmingham, England is the host venue and host city for Saturday’s card. Inside the United States, as always, Oktagon 56 will be streamed from start to finish on DAZN beginning at noon ET/ 9 am PT, so those living out west can have fights at breakfast time.

If, however, you’re watching from the United Kingdom, the card will be seen live on Channel 4 beginning at 5 pm local time early Saturday evening. All told, Oktagon 56 features a full 13-fight card on the day.

Vacant Flyweight Title At Stake in Oktagon 56 Main Event

Highlighting the day is a battle for flyweight gold in the Oktagon 56 main event, a battle pitting two fighters with ties to the other MMA promotion holding a card on Saturday afternoon, Cage Warriors. No. 1 contender Aaron Aby (16-8-1 MMA, 1-1 Oktagon MMA) fights former Cage Warriors Flyweight Champion Sam Creasey (18-5 MMA, Oktagon MMA promotional debut.)

This fight is a rematch between these two men from June 24, 2021 in Cage Warriors 123. That night, Creasey scored a unanimous decision win over Creasey after three rounds.

Its winner succeeds UFC and Combate Global alumnus  Elias Garcia (10-2 MMA, 1-0 Oktagon MMA) as the second man all-time to win the promotion’s 125-lb. championship. Garcia was removed as the Oktagon MMA Flyweight Champion last month upon declining to fight in defense of his title.  Saturday’s Oktagon 56 main event is an advertised maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round.

Oktagon 56 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds

Heading into the Oktagon 56 main event on Saturday afternoon, Sam Creasey is the taller man at 5-foot-6, compared to the 5-foot-frame of Aaron Aby. No reach advantage information was accessible online at press time.

Currently, the oddsmakers have Sam Creasey installed as a -333 favorite on the money line, with Aaron Aby countering as a +225 underdog. If you plan on betting on this or any other fight happening this weekend in MMA, please wager responsibly.

Aaron Aby Gets a Second Chance at Oktagon Title This Weekend

Aaron Aby enters the Oktagon 56 main event on Saturday afternoon having posted a record of 3-2 in his last five fights. Back on Jan. 27, he scored a unanimous decision victory over Christopher Daniel (9-4-1 MMA, 0-1 Oktagon MMA) during Oktagon 52 in Newcastle, England.

During a recent interview with James Lynch, Aby discussed his upcoming title shot.

“I knew obviously in January I was going to be fighting for the belt in April, Aby began. “It was just a matter of finding out if Garcia was going to come defend his belt again or if I’d be fighting somebody new. I was just waiting for everything else to get finalized on that front. As for the date, you know that was always in my mind since the last UK card in January.”

This is a man who had a shot at the title late last fall against Garcia and he was dealt a bad hand when he sustained a cut above his eye which forced the fight doctor to intervene and call a halt to the title fight vs. Garcia in the name of safety. It’s not often in life or in MMA that a person gets a second chance at supremacy.

However, this is what’s been given to Aaron Aby, so will he make the most of it? Tune in on Saturday for the answer.

Creasey Looks to Go 2-For-2 vs. Aby

In the other corner, Sam Creasey has gone 3-2 himself over the last five fights. At the moment, he’s on a two-fight winning streak. Most recently, he scored a second-round submission by rear-naked choke against Tanio Pagliariccio (9-4 MMA) during Cage Warriors 162 on Oct. 28.

As previously mentioned, this is the second lifetime meeting between Creasey and Aby, with the all-time series standing at 1-0 in favor of the former. Creasey recently talked to Frank Bonada, saying that the rematch will be different.

“We’ve done it once,” Creasey began. “We’ve had that experience but that was [Aby’s] first fight back in, I don’t know how long, but, you know, I don’t imagine that’s Aaron at his top performance, if you like. I’m expecting him to come and show me who the real Aaron Aby is.”

Plenty can happen in three years’ time, so we’ll see what happen in the rematch on Saturday night.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

The Oktagon 56 main event is a toss-up. Both of these men own black belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, so expect this one to be settled on the ground.

Aby Great with Subs

Given that Aaron Aby is a BJJ black belt, it stands to reason that he’ll try to complete a submission at the earliest opportunity. Willian da Silva found this out the hard way last spring during FCC 33.

During the first round of a scheduled three, Aby dumped da Silva before softening him up with ground and pound shots and transitioning to half guard, scoring with knees to a downed da Silva (a legal strike in FCC.) From there, he assumed full mount and landed elbows against the cage, locking in the arm-triangle.

Look for Aaron Aby to secure the first takedown of the match in the Oktagon 56 main event. If he takes Sam Creasey down first, it’s his fight to win.

Creasey Slick on the Ground

In the other corner, Sam Creasey is another fighter who can work quickly on the ground. One need look no further than his fight against Stipe Brcic in 2022.

This fight was a fun one for as long as it lasted, with Creasey landing a crisp punch to the head to knock Brcic down, immediately moving in on him to secure a high-arm guillotine choke. Brcic had no choice but to tap out in 71 blistering seconds.

If Creasey lands a vicious punch to knock Aby down, his ground game can tell the story.

Final Thoughts

On a Saturday without the UFC in action, this is a pretty cracking fight in the Oktagon 56 main event. You can’t get any better than a rematch with a vacant title up for grabs

Prediction: Sam Creasey by First-Round Submission. 

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Drew Zuhosky has been writing about combat sports since May of 2018, coming to MMASucka after stints at Overtime Heroics and Armchair All-Americans. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew is a charter member of the Youngstown Press Club. Prior to beginning his professional career, Drew was a sportswriter for YSU's student-run newspaper, The Jambar, where he supplied Press Box Perspective columns every week.

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