A wild night in Ostrava, Czech Republic saw Brazilian striker Kaik Brito capture the Oktagon welterweight title after a thrilling back-and-forth war at Oktagon 37.
Brito took on the Czech-Slovak’s longest-reigning champion, David Kozma, in the headline bout of the event at Ostravar Arena.
Brito swung for the fences early as he looked to find a home for his huge power shots, but Kozma weathered the storm well early on, then used his wrestling to take the Brazilian to the mat. Once Brito battled back up, Kozma then punished the challenger with crushing knees from the clinch. But despite that adversity, Brito’s strength and toughness shone through as he finished the opening round on top.
The second stanza saw Brito grow in confidence as he stuffed an early single-leg attempt from the champion, then stung his man with sharp, straight shots. Kozma relentlessly pursued the takedown, but despite being taken down, Brito immediately bounced back up as the Brazilian’s conditioning started to shine through in the face of Kozma’s forward pressure.
Then, mid-way through the round, Brito made the breakthrough as he decked the champion with a ramrod right hand. Somehow Kozma survived and made it back to his feet before being dropped again by Brito. The fight looked close to being stopped, but just as the referee looked to be moving in to make an intervention, Kozma dramatically snatched an armbar as the crowd in the Ostravar arena erupted.
Brito escaped, and the pair engaged in a breathless scramble on the mat, with the Brazilian grabbing an arm-in guillotine that Kozma managed to escape, before the action returned to the feet once again. Brito then dropped the champion once more, and the referee gave Kozma every chance to survive the onslaught, which he did, but only just, as the bell sounded to end one of the craziest rounds of the year.
“The Pink Panther’s” face was crimson red after being battered by Brito in that round, but he still emerged from his corner for the third round. But by now Brito’s confidence was soaring, and the Brazilian smiled across the cage at Kozma before the start of Round 3. He knew he had the champion’s number.
With the pace understandably slower than the previous round, Brito found it easier to stuff Kozma’s takedown attempts as the bout turned into a striking match. Both men connected with big shots as the two title fighters showed signs of fatigue.
Kozma put all of his effort into a big takedown attempt as he took Brito to the canvas, but the Brazilian was able to push the champion away and return to his feet before the pair started swinging for the fences again.
Brito stuffed another takedown attempt against the cage, then dropped Kozma with a stunning spinning backfist. Somehow, Kozma fought back to his feet, but was clearly exhausted, and Brito teed off on the wobbly-legged champion with big punches until the referee mercifully stepped in to wave it off at the 4:12 mark.
Brito’s stunning TKO of Kozma topped off a memorable night packed with finishes in Ostrava.
The co-main event also saw a new champion crowned, as Georgia’s Mate Sanikidze edged a split decision verdict over Jukub Tichota to win the vacant featherweight title after a hugely entertaining scrap went the full five-round duration.
The main card saw a decision win for German debutant Konrad Dyrschka, who defeated Jan Siroky to extend his win streak to five and mark himself as a potential contender at 155 pounds. There was also an impressive performance from Katharina Dalisda, who handled crowd-favorite Monika Chochlikova with relative ease, using her wrestling superiority to earn a unanimous decision win.
The rest of the card delivered a salvo of quickfire finishes, with seven first-round stoppages in all.
Middleweight Vlatislav Cepo needed just half a round to finish Giovani Melillo, while fellow 185 pounder Al Matavao went even faster, finishing Marek Mazuch in just two minutes, two seconds.
Adam Palasz produced a stunning knockout of Tadej Dajcman in a thrilling heavyweight slugfest, and Vaclav Mikusalek scored a buzzer-beating TKO with just one second left in the first round of his bout against Petr Bartonek.
But the fastest finish of the night went to Slovakia’s Ronald Paradeiser, who needed just 21 seconds to knock out Brazil’s Felipe da Silva Maia in their 161-pound catchweight bout.
Oktagon 37: Official Results
- Kaik Brito def. David Kozma via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 4:12 – for welterweight title
- Mate Sanikidze def. Jakub Tichota via split decision (49-46, 47-48, 49-46) – for featherweight title
- Vlastislav Cepo def. Giovanni Melilli via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:30
- Konrad Dyrschka def. Jan Siroky via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)
- Al Matavao def. Marek Mazuch via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:02
- Ronald Paradeiser def. Felipe da Silva Maia via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:21
- Vaclav Mikulasek def. Petr Bartonek via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:59
- Adam Palasz def. Tadej Dajcman via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 2:26
- Katharina Dalisda def. Monika Chochlikova via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
- Robert Bryczek def. Adbel Rahmane Driai via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 1:25
- Matej Kuznik def. Ozan Aslaner via TKO (knee injury) – Round 1, 3:30