OKTAGON 49, the biggest MMA event on German soil to date, attracts over 19,000 fans to Cologne. Two Borussia Dortmund footballers also cheer on the defeated Christian Eckerlin
A milestone in young German MMA history took place on Saturday evening in front of prominent fans.
The OKTAGON 49 martial arts event of the Czech OKTAGON MMA league drew over 19,000 fans to the Lanxess Arena in Cologne. It was the biggest backdrop ever for MMA in Germany and was on a par with the world market leader UFC.
Celebrities such as rapper Gzuz and Borussia Dortmund footballers Nico Schlotterbeck and Marius Wolf were present at the event. In the main fight of the show, top German fighter Christian Eckerlin took on Apollo Silva from Brazil.
The former Darmstadt 98 regional league footballer lost narrowly on points – but that didn’t matter too much to him given the scale of the historic event. “There are no losers today, we all won!” he shouted to the cheering fans afterwards.
Former boxer and local Cologne hero Deniz Ilbay also made a highly acclaimed appearance, making a spectacular entrance with sombrero and mask to “Viva Colonia” – but was then defeated by British fighter Corey Fry via armbar in the first round.