German fan-favorite Christian Jungwirth had to work hard for it, but “The Kelt” did just enough to earn a split-decision victory over Brazil’s Denilson Neves de Oliveira in the main event of Oktagon 39 in Munich.
Fighting on home soil, Jungwirth had the entire Audi Arena on his side as he took on Oliveira in a welterweight bout in Oktagon’s first visit to the sport-mad German city.
The bout represented a big risk for Jungwirth, who was already scheduled to compete in the one-million-Euro Tipsport Gamechanger tournament set to get underway in March. But the lure of competing in front of his home fans in a main event slot was too big an opportunity to pass up, and his victory meant he could rest easy knowing his stock hadn’t taken any damage during the bout.
That’s not to say he won with ease, however. Oliveira’s heavy-handed striking and solid takedown defense made him a tough nut to crack, and he briefly had Jungwirth in trouble when he uncorked a big right hand to deck the local hero during one exchange. But Jungwirth rallied well and did enough over the remainder of the bout to earn the nod from two of the three cageside judges as he improved his record to 13-6 with scores of 29-28, 28-29, 29-28.
Poppeck dominates Zawada to extend win streak
Rising German light heavyweight Alexander Poppeck delivered a one-sided beatdown to German MMA veteran Martin Zawada as he continued his climb up the Oktagon 205-pound ladder.
Poppeck had previously called respectfully for a fight with Zawada, and the younger man proved too good in the wrestling and grappling exchanges as he was able to take Zawada off his feet, then punish him on the mat.
It made for a one-sided matchup, with Zawada taking the brunt of the punishment during a bloody three-round battle.
After his victory, Poppeck called for either a title shot, or a bout against a mystery 205er who he said had been bad-mouthing him in the lead-up to the fight.
Meanwhile, “King Kong” Zawada said it wasn’t the last we’ve seen from him, but he implored the Oktagon matchmakers to book him against a striker so he can show his full crowd-pleasing fighting style.
Keita showcases punch power to go 10-0
Oktagon lightweight champion Losene Keita dropped down to featherweight and served notice to the best at 145 pounds with a devastating performance against Sweden’s Samuel Bark.
Keita let his hands flow throughout the bout as he lit up Bark throughout the opening round, then hurt him badly in the closing stages of the second as his speed, power and variety of strikes proved just too much for the Swede to handle.
When Bark returned to his corner at the end of the second round, it looked like he was close to being finished, and Keita showed his killer instinct after the restart as he pounced on his opponent and finished the fight in just 30 seconds.
It was the latest eye-catching showing from the Belgian fighter, whose performances under the Oktagon banner have marked out 25-year-old as a serious talent.
After that performance at 145 pounds, it might not be long before Keita is challenging for a second belt.
Paradeiser impresses with second-round stoppage
Ronald Paradeiser produced a superb display to defeat Vladimir Sikic in their lightweight matchup and put himself right back in the championship mix at 155 pounds.
Paradeiser, who has already shared the Oktagon cage with current champion Losene Keita and former champ Ivan Buchinger in losing efforts earlier in his career, showed his continued evolution as a fighter as he dominated the highly-rated Sikic, who had only lost once prior to the matchup in Munich.
Paradeiser threatened with a rear-naked choke/face crank in the first round, then stunned his man with a big two-punch combination, then a jumping knee, later in the frame.
The Slovakian continued to beat his man to the punch in Round 2, and appeared to have his man hurt with a well-timed jab early in the round. The bout went to the mat shortly after, and Paradeiser turned up the heat with ground strikes to force the stoppage.
Moeil targets title shot
The main card kicked off with a heavyweight bout, as Germany’s Hatef Moeil claimed a shutout decision win to push his claims for a shot at the promotion’s vacant heavyweight title.
Moeil outworked Brazil’s Wallyson Carvalho over three grueling rounds to earn scores of 30-27 on all three cards, then called for a shot at the heavyweight title when the promotion returns to Oberhausen in June.
Lombard earns draw in short-notice boxing exhibition
The preliminary card featured a boxing exhibition bout between former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard and Serbian finisher Vlasto Cepo.
The short-notice bout was booked during fight week, with Cepo and Lombard agreeing to face off in a boxing match on two days’ notice. Cepo went into the bout with a 100 percent finish rate, but Lombard spoiled that stat by going the distance with the taller, rangier man to earn a draw.
Oktagon 39: Official results
- Christian Jungwirth def. Denilson Neves de Oliveira via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Alexander Poppeck def. Martin Zawada via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-25)
- Losene Keita def. Samuel Bark via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 0:30
- Pavol Langer def. Rafael Xavier via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ronald Paradeiser def. Vladimir Sikic via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 2, 2:08
- Hatef Moeil def. Wallyson Carvalho via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Vlasto Cepo vs. Hector Lombard ends in a draw – boxing exhibition bout
- Vladimir Lengal def. Cem Kuyemcuoglu via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 4:30
- Marek Bartl def. Kevin Hangs via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:03
- Lukas Cruz def. Tayo Odunjo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Photo credit: @OktagonOfficial (Twitter)