Brazil’s Felipe Lima captured the Oktagon bantamweight title after a breathless battle with Jonas Magard went all the way to the judges’ scorecards in Stvanice, Prague.
Stockholm-trained Lima came into the bout riding an 11-fight win streak, and he extended his run to 12 with a remarkable performance as he pushed the pace on defending champion Magard through five hard rounds at the Central Tennis Court.
Lima looked composed and confident early on as he closed the distance and forced the champion up against the fence before taking him to the mat. Magard got back to his feet quickly, but had to be on his guard to avoid having submission trouble from the Brazilian. Eventually, the fight returned to the center of the cage, and Lima turned a Magard takedown into an advantageous position as he beautifully swept the Dane and ended up on top. The pair then scrambled back and forth on the mat, with Magard eventually ending up on top and in Lima’s guard. But the clock ran out before the champion could make any real headway from that position.
Lima started fast again in Round 2, connecting with a slick two-punch combination as he scored to the head and the body. He then threatened to lock up a D’Arce choke as Magard shot for a takedown, but the champion defended smartly to avoid trouble. Lima kept the pressure on and continued to pursue a finish, but Magard scrambled free once again. A guillotine attempt from Magard saw Lima wriggle free and resume his own attack as he took Magard’s back and hammered him with strikes while looking for an opening for a submission. With Magard covering up and trying to defend, Lima flattened out Magard and, with the champion looking to escape, appeared to lock up a tight rear-naked choke. Remarkably, Magard managed to survive the choke, and the round, as the horn sounded to call an end to the second stanza.
After losing the first round and potentially suffering a 10-8 in Round 2, Magard needed something big in Round 3 to pull himself into the fight, and the champion started out well, connecting with some decent strikes, but briefly found himself in a guillotine choke when he shot in for a takedown. Lima then picked up the champion and went for a huge slam, only for Magard to scramble to the top. The champion was beginning to find his feet in the contest, and another good right hand, followed by a big takedown, put Magard in a strong position in the second half of the round. With Lima starting to show signs of slowing down, Magard applied the pressure from top position, before Lima worked his way free and threatened with a triangle choke and an omoplata as time ran out.
After a breathless three rounds, the action went into the championship rounds, and Lima appeared to have found his second wind. His punches were as fast and crisp as they were in the opening round, and he seemingly couldn’t miss with his right hand as he snapped back Magard’s head. Magard, for his part, landed with some solid punches of his own before the challenger initiated the clinch up against the cage. The action then went to the mat and Lima threw a succession of knees to the champion’s back. The first couple of strikes connected in a legal area, but two further strikes landed, illegally, on the champion’s spine, forcing the bout to be paused by the referee as Magard received attention from the cageside doctor. A point was then deducted from Lima before the action resumed with both men swinging for the fences. There was still time for Lima to score a takedown before an eventful round came to a close.
The final round saw Magard look to take the fight to the mat in search of a finish, but Lima seemed to have all the answers, and in the final 20 seconds took Magard’s back and landed punches all the way to the final horn.
After five grueling rounds, the judges were called into action, and all three agreed on the winner, with an emotional Lima earning the unanimous decision, and the title, with scores of 48-45, 48-46, 48-45.
Blistering Bryczek demolishes Kristofic to earn middleweight title shot
Polish powerhouse Robert Bryczek needed just 55 seconds to become the first man to stop Samuel Kristofic as he blasted his way to a middleweight title shot, and a meeting with defending champion Patrik Kincl.
Bryczek stunned Kristofic early with a straight right, then finished him with a barrage of ground strikes to claim a blistering 55-second TKO victory and book himself a title shot with Kincl, who came into the cage to greet Bryczek in a respectful faceoff to make their upcoming title fight official.
Lengal produces stunning fightback to claim walk-off KO victory
Czech featherweight Vladimir Lengal produced one of the performances of the night as he came back from the brink of defeat to knock out Germany’s Michael Deiga-Scheck in a barnburner of a bout.
Deiga-Scheck looked in control early and had Lengal in big trouble, as the Czech was forced to cover up against the fence as the German fighter pushed hard for the finish. But, in an incredible turnaround, Lengal, who was voted the promotion’s breakthrough fighter of 2022, stunned his man with a big shot, then launched into an all-out blitz as he threw everything he had at Deiga-Scheck.
With the crowd cheering on the local man, Lengal continued his barrage before finally knocking out his man with a big knee and walking off with his arms raised in victory. It was an incredible comeback, and Lengal celebrated by breakdancing in the middle of the cage as the crowd roared their approval.
Surdu claims career-best win, calls out Lohore
Ion Surdu picked up a massive victory for his career with a hard-earned unanimous decision victory over Oktagon veteran Mate Kertesz in their welterweight matchup.
Moldova’s Surdu and Hungary’s Kertesz went back and forth over three breathless rounds in a bout that kept the Stvanice fans on the edge of their seats, and that suspense continued as they awaited the final verdict from the three cageside judges. The scorers were unanimous, with Surdu claiming the victory with scores of 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 to pick up a huge win over one of Oktagon’s longest-serving, and most respected, welterweights.
Surdu then used his post-fight interview to pay tribute to Kertesz, who he called “the toughest opponent of my career,” then finished off by calling for a bout with England-based French contender Alex Lohore in Manchester later this year, before dedicating his victory to his compatriot and former ONE Championship contender Iuri Lapicus, who lost his life in a motorcycle accident earlier this year.
Rock locks up rear-naked choke for maiden Oktagon win
Liverpool’s Shem Rock produced a huge performance to claim his first win under the Oktagon banner as he finished Jan Malach in the opening round of their lightweight matchup.
The pair started out trading strikes, and a well-placed body kick from Rock folded up the Czech as the Next Generation man made the early breakthrough. With his opponent hurt, Rock swarmed Malach and unloaded a barrage of strikes before taking his back and sending him to the mat, where he locked up a rear-naked choke to secure an attention-grabbing first-round finish.
Rock’s win puts him in the win column in his second Oktagon appearance after his promotional debut ended in a majority draw with Arthur Lima at Oktagon 42 in April.
Uskrt claims TKO win after nasty cut halts Primera
The 176-pound catchweight bout between welterweights Radovan Uskrt and Tato Primera appeared to be one-way traffic in favor of the Spanish fighter, until one well-placed elbow from Uskrt transformed the bout and saw him claim a dramatic win via second-round doctor stoppage.
Primera quickly closed the distance on Uskrt – whose wins have all come inside the first round – as the Spaniard smothered the Slovak’s power striking by forcing the action up against the cage. It might not have been pretty, but Primera’s work was very effective as he dragged his man into the second round, where continued the same clinch-heavy approach.
Primera took the action to the mat and continued to press from top position, but an elbow from Uskrt sliced open the Spanish fighter’s head, causing blood to spurt across the cage. The referee then halted the action for an illegal up-kick from Uskrt, and also waved in a medic to check Primera’s wound, which was a nasty one. The doctor deemed Primera unable to continue as Uskrt claimed the TKO win, despite being on the back foot for the majority of the fight.
Cordero delivers short-notice stunner
The highlight of the preliminary card was undoubtedly the short-notice performance of Germany’s Jaime Cordero, who claimed a spectacular 22-second head-kick knockout of Gabriel Torok.
Cordero cut short his holiday to step in on just two days’ notice to face Torok in Prague, and he got the job done in lightning-fast time with a perfectly-placed right high kick to the temple that sent Torok face-first into the canvas for a highlight-reel finish.
There was another sub-60-second finish on the preliminary card, as Norway’s Ole Magnor needed just 55 seconds to submit Vaclav Mikulasek and claim his second rear-naked choke finish at Stvanice. After the fight, Mikulasek left his gloves in the middle of the cage as the fighter known as “Baba Jaga” hinted at potential retirement.
Oktagon 45: Night 1 results
- Felipe Lima def. Jonas Magard via unanimous decision (48-45, 48-46, 48-45) – for bantamweight title
- Robert Bryczek def. Samuel Kristofic via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 1, 0:55
- Vladimir Lengal def. Michael Deiga-Scheck via knockout (knee) – Round 1, 2:59
- Ion Surdu def. Mate Kertesz via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Shem Rock def. Jan Malach via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:08
- Radovan Uskrt def. Tato Primera via TKO (doctor stoppage due to cut) – Round 2, 4:55
- Ole Magnor def. Vaclav Mikulasek via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 0:55
- Jaime Cordero def. Gabriel Torok via knockout (head kick) – Round 1, 0:22
- Radek Rousal def. Armand Herczeg via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
- Roza Gumienna def. Lucia Krajcovic via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Photos: Oktagon MMA