OKTAGON MMA to launch 16-man welterweight tournament in March, promoters tout record prize money
OKTAGON MMA is bringing what the promotion hopes will be the defining European tournament of 2023.
The budding promotion, based out of the Czech Republic, has gained some momentum over the past year for its solid fight card, beautiful venue choices and loaded crowds. As the calendar turns to a new year, there are new goals, and for OKTAGON MMA, the cornerstone of its schedule in the new year will be a 16-man welterweight tournament.
“We want to try something special for not just the fighters, but for the viewers,” OKTAGON MMA promoter Ondrej Novotny told MMA Junkie. “Our best division right now is welterweight, so that’s why we picked welterweight. … People are going to enjoy it.”
In conjunction with one of its primary sponsors, Tipsport Gamechanger, OKTAGON MMA is set to launch the single-elimination tournament beginning March 4 in Ostrava. There will be eight opening-round fights, along with one reserve matchup scheduled in case last-minute replacements are needed.
There are several names already confirmed to compete, including OKTAGON MMA welterweight champ David Kozma, OKTAGON MMA middleweight champ Patrik Kincl, then others such as Christian Eckerlin, Bojan Velickovic and Mate Kertesz. Fans will also have the opportunity to vote one fighter in.
According to the promoters, once the first round concludes, the winning fighters will participate in a selection show for the quarterfinal round. They will draw matchups for each other, and fans will also get to vote for two of the losing athletes who will face off in a reserve bout in the event an alternate is needed.
The athletes will receive purses for every fight along the way, but the ultimate prize will come at the end. Pavol Neruda, another one of the executives for OKTAGON MMA, says the final payday will surpass anything previously issued in Europe for a tournament with this format.
“There’s prize money for each round and then the winner at the end will get 300,000 Euros, which is the biggest prize money ever paid in any MMA project in Europe,” Neruda said. “That’s why we are excited to announce this tournament, which is the biggest in European history.”
To hear more about OKTAGON MMA’s upcoming tournament and plans for 2023, check out the video interview above with Novotny and Neruda.