Oktagon 38 Preview; Macek v Lopez; Lohore and Chadwick Feature

Oktagon return for their end of year show this Friday evening. Oktagon 38 is live from the O2 in Prague, Czechia with a big arena show. 18000 fans will cheer on eleven MMA fights and a couple of custom rules bouts featuring top promotional talent.

The main event will see a new OKMMA Interim Batamweight Championship crowned. Current champion Jonas Mågård was due to defend on this card, however pulled out last week with a broken jaw. Filip Macek (27-16-1) remains on the card with the aim of keeping his number one contender spot. The Czech is 9-2 under the Oktagon banner and has won two on the bounce. The Reindeers man is a submission expert and is dangerous with guillotines, armbars, triangles and has even pulled off a Brabo choke in MMA competition. Whilst he usually finishes by submission, he’s also a threat on the feet and has knockout power. Gustavo Lopez (12-6-1) is the man tasked with stepping in at short notice and rarely will you find such a high calibre of challenger in that timeframe. The Xtreme Couture fighter was the Combate Global champion before going 1-2-1 in the UFC against extremely tough opposition. He’s another man who excels on the ground, with very good wrestling and always poses a submission threat. This is an interesting matchup for the interim gold.

OKMMA Lightweight Champion Losene Keita (9-0) competes in a Muay Thai bout in the co-main event against Slovakian kickboxer Milan Minči Paleš, which should be a bit of fun.

Alex Lohore (21-8) is moving back down to welterweight following his unsuccessful title challenge against Patrik Kincl back in September. “Da Killa Kid” is a European MMA veteran and is known for his exciting fights. The Frenchman can do it all, a whizz in the submissions and an exciting kickboxing game to keep you honest. Lohore successfully defended his BAMMA title against Richard Kiely in the 3Arena in Dublin back in 2017. When he’s on the card, you have to tune in. The tests don’t get much easier as awaiting him in the cage is Matúš Juráček (9-2). The Czech is surging at the moment, coming in on a six-fight win streak. The karate fighter is a perfect 4-0 in Oktagon and is looking to cement a title shot of his own with a win here.

Lee Chadwick (28-17-1) has a quick turnaround after losing to Modestas Bukauskas at Cage Warriors 145 last month. Very few men have the glove collection he has, including performing in PFL, Bellator and CW this year alone. The Englishman is a true veteran of the scene and is an amazingly tough individual. His base is wrestling and he’ll aim to stifle his opponent, looking for a submission if it presents itself. The Butcher is very much position over submission and uses his experience to keep safe. Rafael Xavier (11-6) has been loving life in Oktagon to date, winning four on the trot, three of which coming via knockout. The Brazilian fights out of Germany and is coming into his peak. This is his chance against a big name to start pushing towards title contention.

Jan Malach (14-12) is another Reinders MMA man and is usually in exciting fights. The Czech is 4-2 in his last six and his threat is most likely going to be on the feet. Matouš Kohout (7-5) is also Czech and has a fan friendly Muay Thai style. He’s 5-2 in Oktagon and his last loss was to the very talented Mateusz Legierski. Don’t worry about the records, these two lads will entertain.

Daniel Škvor (5-1) is an up-and-coming light heavyweight. The Czech has won his last five and the only blemish is to the undefeated Oumar Sy. The 6ft5in kickboxer’s Plan A will be to use his power and skill to get the first round knockout. Jorick Montagnac (3-1) has won both his promotional bouts to date. Not much of a finishing threat, the Frenchman will likely be trying to drag this out over the fifteen minutes. He fights out of the same gym as the UFC’s Benoit Saint-Denis.

Opening up the main card is a boxing bout between “Baba Jaga” Václav Mikulášek and “Beast” Gábor Boráros. These lads don’t have a care in the world and will throw down without a moment’s thought.

Jakub Dohnal (11-2) is the featured prelim. The Brno man is 7-1 in Oktagon and has won his last four under the banner. The Czech is shooting up the featherweight rankings and got a nice decision win over David Moon in September. He’s a well rounded MMA fighter who usually goes to decisions. Don’t be surprised if he calls out new champion Mate Sanikidze if he wins here. Ahmed Vila (9-4-1) is stern opposition. The Bosnian is at his most dangerous in the submission game and he has a very nice triangle choke to be aware of.

Matěj Peňáz (6-1) is another prospect. The Brno man was unsuccessful in his Dana White Contender Series fight, losing via guillotine to Sedriques Dumas. The Czech is a kickboxer and Muay Thai specialist. Most of his wins come via knockout. His last two wins were to solid European veterans Gianni Melillo and Cheick Kone. Joel Dos Santos (16-7) has been a 50/50 fighter in recent years and was beaten in his Oktagon debut in September against Andrej Kalašnik. The Brazilian’s main path to victory here is going to be in the submission game. His striking defence has caused him issues in the past.

Max Handanagić (8-6-1) is far better than his record looks, with four of his losses coming in his first five fights. Since then, he’s been 7-2-1 and has displayed an exciting knockout kickboxing game. The Bosnian trains out of Poděbrady in Czechia. David Jacobsson (11-3) has competed on Brave CF in the past. The Swede is a decent allrounder with a lovely guillotine. Cardio isn’t an issue for the 26-year-old Gothenburg man, with most of his fights going the distance.

Jaroslav Pokorný (14-10) needs to get a win on Friday having lost four-in-a-row. “Jubox” is predominantly a striker who likes to finish in the first two rounds. Ozan Aslaner (8-5-1) is not too dissimilar himself. The German will meet Pokorný in the middle of the cage and go for the knockout.

Radovan Úškrt (6-3) is an exciting finisher. The Slovakian returned after a three-year absence with a lovely knockout victory over Denis Kurdinov in September. He’ll be looking for more of the same this time and get some valuable cage time having had trouble stringing fights together since 2017. Ole Magnor (7-6) is more of a grappler and has found his groove of late, winning six of his last eight. The Norwegian is likely to try and take this down and use his slick offensive grappling skills. 

Martin Pipek (1-0) will open the show on the YouTube prelim. The Czech is an IMMAF veteran and had an impressive pro debut, a knockout win against Simeon Kapuya in July. Hassan Shaaban (0-1) came up short against Selim Topuz in his debut, however had a very promising amateur career. The Lebanese trains out of the infamous UFD Gym in Düsseldorf and will likely try to take this down and get a submission.

Oktagon 38 is live on Friday evening and is exclusively on PPV at Oktagon.tv from 17:00 Irish time.

Seán Denny is a Dublin man who writes mostly on the European scene, with a keen interest in the Irish, UK and Polish scenes in particular. Follow me on Twitter at @DennyRants.

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