Oktagon 48 will mark the end of Oktagon Challenge: England vs. Ireland, when “Saint” George Staines meets Denis “The Menace” Frimpong at the AO Arena, Manchester, on November 4.

Oktagon Challenge aired on Channel 4 in the UK over the last two months, with the eight athletes competing not only in the cage, but in numerous different team challenges to establish which team could decide which two fighters would face each other in the season finale.

The final episode reflected on the series, talking to fighters, coaches, Oktagon owners Pavol Neruda and Ondrej Novotny, and series presenter Bryan Lacey as they shared their personal highlights from the show.

The episode also focused on Staines’ and Frimpong’s coaches and teammates previewing their upcoming clash.

Road to the final

Both men shone in their first fights of the series, as they quickly established themselves as frontrunners in the competition, with Staines and Frimpong facing Matthew Elliott and Hascen Gelezi, respectively.

Staines showed his level in his opening bout against Elliott, dominating the Irishman throughout the 15-minute contest and securing a unanimous decision victory.

After four weeks of torment, Frimpong and Gelezi met in the final week of the quarter-finals. Frimpong delivered a highlight-reel knockout midway through the second round and announced himself on the Oktagon stage.

The two men put on impressive displays in their respective semi-final bouts, with Staines handily dispatching Armand Herczeg and Frimpong producing a striking masterclass to defeat Beau Gavin.

Bad blood

It’s fair to say there has been some bad blood between the two lightweights heading into Saturday’s final. The contentious issue came in Episode 3 when Staines was discussing the monumental role his grandmother has played within the family. With her being the only parent to his father, Staines passed a comment about how she played the role of both parents. Standing just behind him Frimpong then referred to Staines’ grandma as a transvestite.

Discussing the matter, Frimpong believes Staines showed his true character.

“When I said what I said to him, he didn’t say anything to me. He sat and played his little video game, and he didn’t do a thing about it,” he stated.

“Then, the next day, he sat in a dark room like this and he started crying, so I think he is fake, to be quite honest.”

Staines, meanwhile, said he’s reserving his response for the fight itself.

“All the talking means nothing,” he said.

“I’ll save it for when we’re in the cage.”

Oktagon 48 features a host of UK talent as the promotion makes its first appearance on UK soil. Wales’ Aaron Aby has the chance to become the promotion’s inaugural flyweight champion when he takes on America’s Elias Garcia, while Oktagon Challenge coaches Akonne Wanliss and Shem Rock will feature in separate lightweight showcase bouts against top 10-ranked opposition.

By Jake Smith