Following the huge success of their inaugural Tipsport Gamechanger tournament, Oktagon MMA have confirmed that they are bringing the format back again in 2024.
The elimination tournament in 2023 saw 16 welterweights placed in a bracket, with the winners advancing through each round until the final two competitors face off in the final.
The tournament, sponsored by Czech sportsbook Tipsport, offered a prize pot of one million Euros, with the tournament winner guaranteed 300,000 Euros. The final of the welterweight tournament will take place at the final Oktagon event of the year, Oktagon 51, in Prague, as Bojan Velickovic and Andreas Michailidis face off for the tournament title.
Oktagon co-founder Ondrej Novotny confirmed to Fighters Only in Manchester that the promotion was set to launch a new Gamechanger tournament in 2024, and hinted that it could feature the 155-pound division. And during a special "Oktagon Time" press conference, the promotion has announced that it will indeed run a lightweight tournament next year, and have confirmed 12 of the 16 tournament participants.
Heading the list is Slovakian star Ronald Paradeiser. The newly-crowned Oktagon lightweight champion picked up the title at Oktagon 50 with a stoppage win over former champion Ivan Buchinger, and he'll take his place in the tournament draw, though it is not confirmed whether the lightweight title will be on the line during the tournament bouts.
Joining Paradeiser is new Oktagon signing and former UFC featherweight Makwan Amirkhani, who is moving up to 155 pounds to be a part of the tournament, as well as Serbia's Predrag Bogdanovic.
Also set for action in the tournament are inaugural Oktagon lightweight champion Mateusz Legierski from Poland, England's Akonne Wanliss, German duo Marcel Grabinski and Konrad Dyrschka, Austrian pair Daniel Torres and Mohamed Machaev, and Czech crowd-pleaser Vladimir Lengal.
Montenegro's Milos Janicic and Spain's Acoidan Duque complete the 12-man provisional lineup. Four more spots need to be filled for the tournament, with further announcements set to follow in the coming days.
The tournament itself is scheduled to get underway at Oktagon 54 in Ostrava, where the Ostravar Arena will play host to the first round of the pyramid tournament on Saturday, March 2.
Also announced during the press conference was the launch of the promotion's official rankings, including their pound-for-pound list.