Fancy some tournament MMA to kick off 2023? Czech-Slovak promotion Oktagon MMA has you covered, and they’re going big with a huge lineup and a massive prize pool.

The Oktagon Tipsport Gamechanger tournament will feature 16 welterweight contenders in an elimination tournament as they do battle for their share of one million Euros. It’s a setup that should serve up some thrilling matchups between some of the continent’s best fighters at 170 pounds.

The lineup already features eight Oktagon-contracted fighters, with another eight contenders – including a notable name or two from outside the organization – set to be added in due course.

The tournament is the brainchild of co-founder of Oktagon MMA, Ondrej Novotny, who said he already has some names lined up for the additional tournament slots.

“I am excited to say that I’ve already got a few others, and it’s gonna be big for other states. So yeah, this is something huge,” he told Oktagon commentator Bryan Lacey on the promotion’s podcast, Oktagon Hype.

“I believe no other organization in Europe has split one million Euros between the fighters in one year in this kind of pyramid. And we’ve also got special rules about it that the first fights are organization fights. So we put our eight fighters against eight newcomers, or also the fighters which were already fighting in Oktagon, we will see, and we will do the first round.”

As for the format, the eight main Oktagon-contracted contenders will be drawn against the eight remaining contenders, with each winner earning themselves a spot in the tournament’s K-1-style draw, where fighters will pull a number from a hat to determine the draw order, before placing themselves in their chosen spot on the tournament bracket. Matchups will be set, rivalries will be born, and the action will really heat up in the quarter-final stages as a result.

Already confirmed for the tournament are newly-crowned welterweight champion Kaik Brita and former long-reigning champion David Kozma, as well as welterweight contenders Bojan Velickovic, Christian Jungwirth, Christian Eckerlin, Apollo Silva and Mate Kertesz, as well as reigning middleweight champion Patrik Kincl, who will drop a weight class to compete in the non-championship tournament.

There is no championship belt on offer for the tournament, and the welterweight title won’t be defended as part of the competition. Instead, it’s a straight-up dash for the cash, with a prize pool of one million Euros on the line.

The tournament winner takes 300,000 Euros, with the runner-up earning 130,000. Losing semi-finalists take home 80,000 each, quarter-finalists each bag 40,000 and losing first-round fighters claim 15,000 apiece. The remaining 130,000 Euros will be split between the winners and losers of the reserve fights at each stage.

It’s a tournament that should produce exciting fights and also draw more attention to Oktagon, a promotion that has made great strides in 2022 with its combination of high-quality matchups, top-drawer production values and excellent presentation making their events must-see TV over the past 12 months.

Their shows play to huge sold-out crowds in spectacular arena venues, where the passionate fight fans in the Czech Republic and Germany have delivered the sort of arena experience rarely seen outside of the major global organizations.

And with a raft of events already on the schedule for the New Year, 2023 is shaping up to be a breakout year for the promotion as it looks to showcase its brand of MMA to the world.

Oktagon MMA: Event Schedule

  • December 30, 2022: Oktagon 38 – O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic
  • February 2, 2023: Oktagon 39 – Audi Dome, Munich, Germany
  • March 4, 2023: Oktagon 40 – Ostravar Arena, Ostrava, Czech Republic
  • April 15, 2023: Oktagon 41 – Home Credit Arena, Liberec, Czech Republic
  • April 29, 2023: Oktagon 42 – Zimny Stadion, Bratislava, Slovakia
  • May 20, 2023: Oktagon 43 – O2 Arena, Prague, Czech Republic