UK Fighter Akonne Wanliss Added to OKTAGON 56 in Birmingham

In Ostrava, UK MMA fighter Akonne Wanliss faced turmoil as his anticipated bout at OKTAGON 54 was cancelled due to an assault by his opponent's coach. Despite the setback, Wanliss remains determined for his rescheduled fight at OKTAGON 56 in Birmingham, highlighting the challenges of the competitive MMA world.

Louis Hobbs
Louis Hobbs

Last Updated: 2024-03-05

Wade McElwain

4 minutes read

Anticipation Turns to Turmoil in Ostrava

UK MMA fighter Akonne ‘The Jedi’ Wanliss, with a record of 7-2, was set to participate in OKTAGON MMA's prestigious €1 million Tipsport Gamechanger 2 tournament. However, his anticipated bout at OKTAGON 54 in Ostrava took a dramatic turn when he was attacked by one of his opponent's coaches just hours before the scheduled fight.


The incident occurred after the pre-fight press conference last week, where Wanliss was set to face Sahil Siraj. The assault was reportedly carried out by former UFC fighter Reza 'Mad Dog' Madadi, who is one of Siraj's coaches. This attack led to the cancellation of Wanliss' match at OKTAGON 54 and the subsequent rescheduling of the bout.

OKTAGON MMA Issues Statement

Following the altercation, OKTAGON MMA issued an official statement addressing the incident. They confirmed that Wanliss had been assaulted by two of Siraj's coaches and announced a lifetime ban for both individuals from OKTAGON MMA tournaments. Despite the assault, Wanliss sustained no injuries, but the incident understandably left him shaken.

Wanliss Speaks Out

In response to the unfortunate turn of events, Wanliss expressed his gratitude to his supporters and apologised to the fans who were expecting to see him compete at OKTAGON 54. He emphasised the challenges he and his team were facing but remained grateful for the outpouring of support.


“It's a very hard time for me and my team,” Wanliss said. “But I also want to thank everyone who has been showing support through this turbulent time. The force is with you!”


OKTAGON MMA also apologised for the incident and assured fans that both fighters, Wanliss and Siraj, would remain in the Tipsport Gamechanger tournament. Their rescheduled bout is now set to take place at OKTAGON 56 in Birmingham, where Wanliss will headline the event.



Image credit: OKTAGON MMA

OKTAGON 56 Restructured

“After Friday’s press conference, an incident occurred between Sahil Siraj's team and Akonne Wanliss,” OKTAGON MMA stated. “Both fighters remain in the TIPSPORT GAMECHANGER, and their bout will now take place at OKTAGON 56 in Birmingham. We are sorry for this incident and apologise to all our fans who were present.”


The assault at the press conference not only disrupted Wanliss' immediate plans but also underscored the challenges and tensions that can arise in the competitive world of MMA. Nevertheless, Wanliss remains determined to continue his journey in the tournament and showcase his skills in front of his home crowd at OKTAGON 56 in Birmingham. 


Fans can visit the Ticket Factory to secure their tickets for OKTAGON 56 in Birmingham.

Louis Hobbs
Louis HobbsLead Journalist

Meet Louis Hobbs, our esteemed authority on all matters sports-related. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Louis effortlessly emerges as our go-to expert. His particular expertise in the realms of darts and snooker sets him apart and brings a level of insight that goes beyond the ordinary. Louis also holds a deep affection for all things related to US sports, with a special emphasis on basketball and American football, which stand out as his particular favorites. His content may not resonate with you, if you don't consider Lamar Jackson the most skilled player in the NFL.