This weekend, OKTAGON MMA returns to Ostrava – the toughest city in the Czech Republic – for the second time this year with a card topped by two fascinating title fights. Ostravar Arena plays host to OKTAGON 37 on Saturday and features the longest reigning champion in the promotion looking to defend his belt once again alongside a host of other entertaining bouts.
Kozma (30-11) is undefeated over all 10 of his contests in OKTAGON MMA and raised gold when he defeated Slovak star, Gabor Boraros, back in 2018. Since then, "Pink Panther" has defended his belt an impressive five times, including seeing off the threat of UFC veterans Apollo Silva and Bojan Velickovic. No matter the size of the challenge, Kozma keeps on defending the belt again and again, knocking back the very best that the division has to offer by always finding a path to victory. He has spent time preparing at SBG Ireland for this camp and knows that he will have to be at the peak of his capabilities throughout the fight against one of the pound-for-pound heaviest hitters in the promotion.
Brito (15-4) has an impressive background in muay Thai and boasts a terrifying 100 percent finishing rate in MMA. In his last outing, the Brazilian knocked out current No. 5-ranked welterweight, Andrej Kalasnik, in 69 seconds which became his 10th victory in the first round over his professional career. At only 25-years-old, Brito is making large strides in his game continuously and has not reached his peak potential in the sport yet – a scary thought for his adversaries.
Will Kozma be able to survive the early onslaught to retain his title once again? Or will Brito land his trademark, devastating strikes to claim the biggest victory of his life? All questions will be answered on Saturday night.
Following Ivan Buchinger relinquishing the featherweight championship due to an injury, the co-headliner at OKTAGON 37 sees two talented prospects square off for the vacant strap when Mate Sanikidze faces Jakub Tichota.
Sanikidze (8-2) is currently riding a five-fight winning streak and top MMA bantamweight Merab Dvalishvili has stated that the 24-year-old is already better than many competitors in the UFC. "The NextGen," who proudly represents Georgia, has defeated Aleksandr Kolontay and David Moon since his OKTAGON MMA debut last year. Sanikidze is of the opinion that Tichota has never faced anyone like him so far and is supremely confident that he will win the featherweight title this weekend.
Tichota (5-0) is a 2019 IMMAF gold medal winner and is being touted by many as the next big star to come out of the Czech Republic. The 23-year-old’s whole professional career has taken place inside OKTAGON MMA, where he has remained undefeated since February 2020. His opponent in Ostrava signifies a step-up in competition, so Tichota will have to turn in his best performance to date in order to become the king of the division.
Current OKTAGON MMA lightweight champion Losene Keita has expressed an interest in dropping down to 145 poundsd so he can pick up a second belt. The undefeated Belgian sensation recently mentioned that he wants to fight the winner of Saturday’s co-feature and commented that he could beat both title challengers on the same night. Keita will be observing with interest knowing he could meet the victor in a potential huge contest early next year.
The event also marks an important night for the middleweight division and the top 10 rankings could look significantly different come next week. On the main card, intimidating finisher Vlasto Cepo (10-2) squares off with Bellator veteran Gianni Melillo (14-7), and former Dana White’s Contender Series alum Al Matavao (9-5) faces knockout machine Radovan Úskrt (6-3). Furthermore, Abdel Rahmane Driai (7-1) wants to build on his 85-second submission victory over Zdenek Polívka when he clashes with former FEN champion Robert Bryczek (14-5).
Elsewhere on the card, WMC muay Thai champion and WAKO gold medalist Monika Chochlíkova (3-0), looks to display her elite level striking against her toughest test in MMA to date, Katharina Dalisda (7-3), at strawweight. Tadej Dajcman (5-2) collides with Adam Palasz (7-1) where the winner could compete for the vacant OKTAGON MMA heavyweight title in 2023, and European standout Konrad Dyrschka (14-2) makes his promotional debut against Jan Siroky (12-13) in a 159-pound catchweight bout.
OKTAGON 37 will be broadcast live around the world on OKTAGON.TV and kicks off at 5 p.m. GMT.