Oktagon MMA is Amazing Stuff

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Living inside the United States has its advantages, particularly when it comes to watching sporting events. For instance, if you’re so inclined, you can watch European soccer (futbol) matches live from the grounds in the middle of a weekday afternoon.

Every March for four glorious days, US-based sports fans collectively say to themselves “Good-bye, productivity” and park themselves on their favorite couch cushion to watch the opening weekend of a little tournament known as March Madness. Traditions such as these are fine and dandy, but fans of MMA have their own past-times that they enjoy partaking in.

It takes a special kind of fan to go to the microwave and treat themselves to some popcorn before watching a primetime MMA card before going to bed and waking up the next morning for a daytime card from Europe in the afternoon. Some nights, you’ll need a good rest because you can’t be sleepy when watching the promotion that we’ll discuss today.

Oktagon MMA Puts on Awesome Shows

Since 2016, Czech Republic-based combat sports promotion Oktagon MMA has regularly put on shows, and like most sports organizations throughout the world, had to pause operations temporarily in 2020 due to health and safety concerns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

While a number of MMA promotions were forced out of action due to COVID-19 for several months, with the Professional Fighters League having to cancel its entire season four years ago, Oktagon only missed a single show. A planned event on March 14, 2020 was scrubbed due the pandemic’s initial days, with the promotion returning for a stripped-down series of cards known as Oktagon Underground that May.

As someone who’s only been watching and following along with Oktagon MMA cards since the Dec. 29 Oktagon 51, this organization has proven to be impressive for several reasons. Let’s go over them.

Oktagon MMA Cards Start and End at Reasonable Hours

Most often, you’ll see Oktagon events take place on a Saturday afternoon (US time). Save for events scheduled to take place around the start of Daylight Savings Time in the US, the cards will always start around 12 noon ET. This is extremely reasonable for American-based MMA fans with regular sleeping schedules.

The noon ET start time will come into play again this Saturday when Oktagon 57 takes place live on DAZN from Festhalle in Frankfurt. A contracted catchweight at 176 lbs. between Christian Eckerlin (15-6, 1 NC MMA, 2-1, 1 NC Oktagon) and Miroslav Broz (17-3-1 MMA, 7-3 Oktagon) will serve as the main event.

With a start time like that, it’s extremely reasonable for US-based fans. You don’t need to sacrifice sleep in order to watch a card like Oktagon 57 on Saturday. If you wake up at around 9:00  that morning, you’ll have three hours, give or take, to make some breakfast and coffee before the show starts.

You’ll See Great Fighters

MMA shows wouldn’t be anything without a good crop of fighters. Oktagon’s got some wonderful talent on its active roster. You don’t have to go back very far to name one such competitor.

Just two weeks ago, Cage Warriors alumnus Sam Creasey (19-5 MMA, 1-0 Oktagon) had as successful of a promotional debut as one could have, scoring the then-vacant Oktagon MMA Flyweight Championship by unanimous decision after five rounds against fellow Cage Warriors alum Aaron Aby (16-9-1 MMA, 1-2 Oktagon.) A veteran fighter of Creasey’s caliber is a big get for Oktagon.

It’ll be interesting to see how the promotion goes about booking Creasey for his next fight. No official word about a date, venue, or opponent has been made, but regardless, it should be an exciting fight.

Big Plans for a Big Show

Beyond the exciting fights that Oktagon has been putting out, the organization is months away from holding what will likely be its most-anticipated show of all-time. While Frankfurt is their port of call this coming weekend, they’ll be coming back in the fall for a stadium card.

Dubbed Oktagon 62: Bigger Than Ever, the Oct. 12 show will be held under the lights from Deutsche Bank Park, otherwise known as Waldstadion, the home match grounds of Bundesliga club Eintracht Frankfurt,  during the FIFA international window. You can bet that every single seat in that stadium will be filled that fall night. Instead of penalty kicks, the fans will see kicks to the head.

Stadium shows are always something to see in combat sports in America. This stadium show in Germany should easily be just as exciting.

Let’s Talk About Gogi

Every great sports organization has its own mascot. In baseball, the Cleveland Guardians have a character known as Slider, a fuchsia character known for parading around the stands at Progressive Field, accompanying children on Halloween as the payoff of a trick-or-treat-centered contest, visiting nursing homes, and the like.

The Ohio State Buckeyes have Brutus Buckeye as their mascot. Brutus has appeared at the school’s sporting events for close to 60 years and was once on the receiving end of a tackle by Ohio University’s mascot during a football game. While mascots in MMA are rare, Oktagon has Gogi, a character in a gorilla suit.

Gogi is quite popular with the fanbase. On fight nights, he’ll usually be seen entering the cage and sharing dances with the ring card girls during breaks in the action. Gogi’s popularity extends far outside the cage, with the character appearing on Oktagon-licensed merchandise, including a stuffed animal marketed to children.

This stuffed animal is currently available for purchase on Oktagon’s official web shop. Merchandise aside, the Gogi character helps keep the promotion’s brand in the minds of potential viewers. Gogi certainly sets Oktagon apart in that regard.

Final Thoughts

As someone who has spent close to six years writing about MMA, while the mainstays of the sport like the UFC and Bellator are and always will be fun to watch, looking for new promotions will always be at the forefront. On the Friday after Christmas, Oktagon held an event.

With the December holiday season generally being a light time for MMA, any live fights were certainly welcome, and a man can only watch so much college football during bowl season. Since the Ohio State football program didn’t play in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas until later that evening, Oktagon 51 was the way to spend the afternoon.

Bottom line: If you have yet to watch an Oktagon show, this Saturday is the perfect time to start. If you watch just one card from the promotion, you’ll be hooked.

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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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