The interim light heavyweight title will be up for grabs in Oberhausen as Oktagon 44 takes place on Saturday, June 17.
The event will see Germany’s Alexander Poppeck take on Slovakia’s Pavol Langer for the vacant interim title, with the winner set to head home with a shiny new belt, and a future shot at the promotion’s light heavyweight champion, Karlos Vemola.
The fight represents a huge opportunity for Poppeck, who has bounced back superbly from double disappointment in his attempts to hit the big time with the UFC and the PFL.
Poppeck lost out to current UFC light heavyweight champion Jamahal Hill on the Contender Series back in July 2019, then rebounded superbly to claim a hat-trick of victories to earn a similar shot in the PFL’s Challenger series. But, once again, Poppeck agonizingly missed out, this time via the scorecards as he lost a decision to Taylor Johnson in February 2022.
But, undeterred, Poppeck bounced back once again, and is now riding a four-fight win streak, including two successive victories under the Oktagon banner. Those wins, over previously undefeated Nermin Najdarpasic and German MMA veteran Martin Zawada, saw Poppeck thrust into championship contention in Oktagon’s 205-pound division.
Now he stands just one win away from championship gold as he competes for the interim title in Oberhausen. Facing him is Langer, who earned his shot at the interim title with a split-decision victory over Rafael Xavier at Oktagon 39 in February.
The event, which will be held at the city’s Rudolf Weber-Arena, will also feature two welterweight bouts in the promotion’s Tipsport Gamechanger tournament, with German contenders Christian Jungwirth and Mohamed Grabinski both set for action in separate quarter-final matchups.
Jungwirth will face off against Serbia’s Bojan Velickovic, while Grabinski is set to take on Greek contender Andreas Michailidis.
The fight card will also see one of the promotion’s most exciting talents, Ronald Paradeiser, take on UK MMA veteran Andrew Fisher in a lightweight matchup, while former UFC welterweight contender John Hathaway returns to action against Lucasz Siwiec.
Oktagon 44 takes place Saturday, June 17 and streams live on DAZN, and via Oktagon.tv
Oktagon 44: Confirmed fight card
- Pavol Langer vs. Alexander Poppeck – for vacant interim light heavyweight title
- Bojan Velickovic vs. Christian Jungwirth – Tipsport Gamechanger quarter-final bout
- Mohamed Grabinski vs. Andreas Michailidis – Tipsport Gamechanger quarter-final bout
- Rafael Xavier vs. Mateusz Strzelczyk
- Ronald Paradeiser vs. Andrew Fisher
- Zdenek Polivka vs. Hojat Khajevand
- Ante Racic vs. Nuno Costa
- Lukasz Siwiec vs. John Hathaway
- Sofiia Bagishvili vs. Jacinta Austin
- Hafeni Nafuka vs. Adrian Kepa
- Hassan Shaaban vs Denis Gondzala