Interim lightweight champion Losene Keita produced a brilliant display to stun, then dethrone, two-division champion Ivan Buchinger and claim the unified lightweight title in the main event of Oktagon 33 in Frankfurt, Germany.
Keita, who entered the bout as the promotion’s interim champion, was a sizeable underdog against Buchinger, who went into the bout with a dozen years’ experience over the three-year pro from Belgium.
But Keita made a mockery of those pre-fight odds with a superb performance as he used his lighting hand speed and heavy punches to stun Buchinger early, then showcased his takedown defence with a succession of sprawls to prevent “Buki” from taking the young Belgian to the canvas.
After stuffing a host of takedown attempts, Keita returned to his striking and let fly with a series of heavy shots that badly rocked Buchinger and finished him against the cage as the referee moved in to wave off the bout at the three-minute mark.
Not content with taking Buchinger’s lightweight title, Keita then announced in his post-fight interview that he also wanted to defeat the Slovakian again, this time for his featherweight title.
‘T-800’ dominates with shutout decision win
In the co-main event, rival coaches from the Oktagon Challenge TV series went toe to toe as light heavyweights Martin Zawada and Stephan Puetz faced off, and it was the latter who came through with the victory after a dominant display.
Puetz took Zawada down to the canvas in each of the three rounds to win all three rounds on all three scorecards for a unanimous decision with scores of 30-27, 30-27, 30-26 as he earned the 21st win of his career.
The event also hosted the season’s finale bout, as Selim Lee Topuz defeated Hassan Shaaban via unanimous decision after a five-round war to win the inaugural season of the Czech promotion’s answer to The Ultimate Fighter and earn a fight contract with the Oktagon MMA promotion.
Eckerlin claims controversial victory
There was controversy in the welterweight bout between Christian Eckerlin and Denilson Neves de Oliveira when what looked like a clean TKO was ruled out incorrectly as a low blow.
In a wild opening round, De Oliveira connected with a perfectly-placed knee to the liver of fan-favourite Eckerlin, who crumpled into a heap on the mat.
The referee hesitated, then eventually intervened and it looked as if the fight was over. But instead Eckerlin, who appeared to be receiving corner instructions to hold his cup, was given time to recover before the fight resumed.
Then, towards the end of the round, a knee from de Oliveira landed low as Eckerlin was left down for the second time, this time for a bonafide foul. Once again, the German was given time to recover, and he came storming back at the end of the round and nearly finished the Brazilian in the closing seconds.
Eckerlin then went all-out for the finish at the start of the second round as he took his man to the mat, then finished him with vicious ground strikes to claim a hard-earned, if controversial, victory.
Vemola makes it five in a row
Czech star Karlos Vemola picked up his fifth straight victory with a dominant performance over Poland’s Michal Pasternak, then called on Oktagon officials to make him a busy man for the rest of 2022.
Vemola finished Pasternak with an arm-triangle choke after 3:55 of the first round to improve his win streak and keep him right in the title conversation at both 185 and 205 pounds.
But the man Vemola wants next is Stephan Puetz, with “The Terminator” Vemola wanting to prove that there’s only one “Terminator” by defeating “T-800” Puetz.
Zawada kicks off with a win
The event also saw the Oktagon debut of Germany’s former UFC lightweight David Zawada, who claimed a first-round TKO victory over Austria’s Erhan Kartal.
After a strong performance in the opening round, the cageside doctor inspected Kartal and ruled that the Austrian was unable to come out for Round 2.
Oktagon 33: Official Results
- Losene Keita def. Ivan Buchinger via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 3:00 (for unified lightweight title)
- Stephan Puetz def. Martin Zawada via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Selim Lee Topuz def. Hassan Shaaban via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 49-46)
- Christian Eckerlin def. Denilson Neves de Oliveira via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 2, 0:38
- Karlos Vemola def. Michal Pasternak via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:55
- David Zawada def. Erhan Kartal via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 1, 5:00
- Christian Jungwirth def. Ivica Truscek via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 4:09
- Zdenek Polivka def. Cheick Kone via TKO (corner stoppage) – Round 2, 5:00
- Hatef Moeil def Kerisson Leal via TKO (referee stoppage) – Round 2, 5:00
- Ahmed Vila def Jaroslav Pokorny via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Adam Pałasz def. Donald Ćosic via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 3:28
- Jamie Cordero def. Ibrahim Cholo via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-27)
- Michael Deiga Scheck def. Cory Tait via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Photo credit: @OktagonMMA (Instagram)