Although there were no scheduled bouts on this week’s episode of Oktagon Challenge: England vs. Ireland, there was still plenty of competition… and almost a fight outside of the cage!

This week’s episode opened with Team Ireland reaping their reward following their victory in last week’s challenge. They accompanied presenter Bryan Lacey to an Italian fine-dining restaurant, where the quintet managed to unwind and enjoy some of the top-quality cuisine.

The two teams were then put up against each other in an Oktagon quiz, as they were tested on their knowledge of the promotion, their rival team and the rival coaches, with the winning team earning a €500 voucher to spend on whatever like for their evening meal. Viewers were treated to some light-hearted banter between the eight athletes as we learned some interesting, but embarrassing, facts about the contestants.

Team England took the win in yet another task away from the fights – and used the €500 to treat themselves to an abundance of takeaway food!

This week’s challenge segment laid solely in the hands of the coaches, with the victor being able to pick the semi-final matchups.

The challenge was a go-karting time trial. The teams would have five laps to clock their fastest time possible. But, as we’ve seen before this series, it wasn’t just as simple as first thought.

The coaches would have to use a dual kart, with one controlling the pedals and the other commandeering the steering wheel. As if that wasn’t tricky enough, the coach in charge of the pedals also had to hold a glass of water, which they were told to hold on its sides. Whichever team was left with the least amount of water after the session would have a one-second penalty added to their lap time.

England secured the quickest lap by a fraction of a second. But, upon checking the glasses, they had one second added to their time. But the Irish celebrations were shortlived as Team Ireland coach Shem Rock had cheekily covered the top of the glass with his hand during the session. Rock also appeared to spit in the glass to raise the water level.

The judges elected to also slap Team Ireland with a one-second penalty, as Team England were handed the win, much to coach Brad Pickett’s amusement. It meant that Team England’s coaches had the power to select the semi-final matchups, but those pairings won’t be revealed until the next episode.

Also on this week’s episode, viewers were treated to some behind-the-scenes footage as former opponents Jake McHugh and Armand Herczeg got into a heated discussion about their quarter-final fight with Armand stating “you literally died,” and suggesting if there was no referee it would’ve been much worse for McHugh. It also transpired that Armand wanted to train at Jake’s gym, Next Generation MMA in Liverpool, with Team Ireland coach and Jake’s teammate Shem Rock, but McHugh felt uncomfortable with the idea so prevented it from happening.

During the debate, things quickly got out of control between the pair, with the duo about to head outside to settle matters before cooler heads finally prevailed and the situation was calmed down.

The episode closed out with the two teams confirming their semi-final participants, with Team Ireland nominating Denis Frimpong and Armand Herczeg, while Team England put forward Beau Gavin and George Staines.

By Jake Smith