Express & Star

Wolves fighter on the card of Birmingham's biggest fight night in decades

One of the biggest combat sports events ever held in Birmingham is open its doors for fight fans tomorrow.

Wolverhampton MMA fighter Akonne Wanliss is set to fight for one million euros at OKTAGON 56 at Birmingham's Resorts World Arena this weekend

Oktagon MMA has been selling out arenas across Europe and elbows its way to prime time at Resorts World Arena.

With Dana White showing Tom 'Colonel' Parkesque reluctance to bring his cash cow to the UK despite two us having two world champions from these shores.

With Dana White showing Tom 'Colonel' Parkesque reluctance to bring his cash cow to the UK despite two us having two world champions. "Head shot, dead," are the three words which catapulted Brum into UFC and MMA royalty. Erdington's Leon Edwards last gasp title winning knock out made him a legit star. There is talk of him defending his welterweight title at Villa Park, just as there was of Conor McGregor fighting in Dublin, it will never happen.

Oktagon 56 is coming to Birmingham

So to striding into the gap between UFC fans wanting to see the real thing or a tear up behind the bike sheds is Oktagon MMA. Others have tried and failed but Oktagon seems to have got to blend of top class athletes putting it on the line for something that matters and the brash razzamatazz which saw UFC take over boxing.

Birmingham has been a wasteland for big time boxing ever since there were pitch battles between football fans at the NEC in the 1990s at most big title fights. So promoters went elsewhere, way before the oil money changed the game. And the city only got a world champion a few years ago, and that was at gnat-weight. Darlaston's Ben Whittaker could be the first great boxer to fill arenas or football stadiums but while we wait Oktagon 56 will do nicely.

Edwards was told he had to move to America to learn how to grapple, etc, but he put his trust in some hard as nails Brummies and now there is an entire stable of fighters who need Oktagon to flourish.

A spokesman for Oktagon said: "Headlining the action is inspiring cancer survivor, Aaron Aby, who also lives with cystic fibrosis, and is getting a second chance to realise his dream in the main event when he faces one of the best flyweights in Europe, Sam Creasey, in a rematch from 2021. Will man of the people, Aby, finally capture gold to complete his fairytale story or can Creasey pick up the victory once again to show his dominance?

"A fight that sees Liverpool take on London goes down in the co-main event with regional bragging rights up for grabs! Rising UK & Irish star and Paddy Pimblett’s training partner, Shem Rock, is back and wants to continue his 100% finishing rate against ‘The Ghost’, Stefano Catacoli.

"The €1 million Tipsport Gamechanger tournament comes to the UK for the first time when Birmingham’s own, Akonne Wanliss, finally collides with Swedish knockout artist, Sahil Siraj, in a massive opening round grudge match."

Woah, hang on, I've had a head shot, dead. This happens a lot. But Skonne Wanliss is from Wolverhampton. He will tell you that, I get marketing types from down south experience the two cities and think such nirvanas can only be one place, but they are not. And Wanliss is from Wolves. That said if he wins the big bucks on the line there wil be people claiming him from all over the place.

The spokesman added: "Celtic warrior, Will Fleury, makes his OKTAGON MMA debut against former kickboxer, Daniel Škvor, and the king of trash talk, Denis Frimpong, challenges Callum Mullen in an Ireland vs. England showdown.

"Winner of OKTAGON Challenge and one of the best prospects in the whole of the UK, George Staines, returns to continue his fledgling career. The loaded card also features local talent from Birmingham’s Team Renegade Gym including Ammari Diedrick and Liam Etebar."

He added: "Don’t miss out on what is sure to be an unbelievable event and secure your tickets now!"

To get one of the last remaining tickets visit here

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