It all happened in a matter of seconds. First the nudges and confident words in the staredown, then a hard kick from the Irish fighter straight to the opponent’s stomach. Nothing dramatic at first, but the hours that followed showed how serious an impact it really had. “It looked like the opponent had a broken rib, now it looks like it’s going to be a fight in the end. Maybe he’ll be afraid to start tomorrow,” Rock said during a Friday evening press conference.
And it had a fatal outcome, because the duel was canceled on the day of its performance. “Yesterday’s kick by Shem Rock on the ribs of “Jubox” has an impact on the doctor, who after two examinations does not recommend Pokorný to enter the match. We are working to move the fight from Octagon 51 to the O2 Arena on December 29th,” read the announcement, which took place on Saturday afternoon.
The organization, whose expansion into Great Britain is not exactly getting off to a great start, also commented on the unfortunate incident. “We are disappointed, as are the fans. Everyone should remain professional and hurting your opponent at the weigh-in is pointless. The contract is mindful of this and we will deal with Shem Rock’s manager. We discussed the situation with Jarda and we will see if he will be able to perform in the O2 arena,” explains Pavol Neruda, one of the two founders.
“The whole situation is very damaging to Pokorný, who was preparing for the match, and also to the fans who were looking forward to it. Last but not least, it damages the entire organization, which invested a lot of money in this match,” added the Slovak face of the largest domestic fighting organization.
The already mentioned Rock reacted very surprisingly to the sudden change, who was also in charge just before the July duel at Prague’s Štvanica, where he tackled Vladimír Lengál behind the scenes for a change. “I’m ready and I always have been. Unfortunately, my opponent doesn’t want to fight. What should I say? Unfortunately, he resigned, I can’t do anything about it. I was ready, but he is afraid,” he wrote on social networks. “He had two chances, I won’t give him a third. I will arrive at the tournament and if they don’t get me a replacement, I will be in the audience,” he continued, adding that Oktagon is looking for a replacement.
The Oktagon 48 tournament was hit by unexpected news a few hours before its start, that one of the three Czech representatives in Manchester is out of the game. At the same time, the gala evening is missing one of the most anticipated matches, in which the civilian policeman Pokorný and the “badass” with a criminal past, Rock, were supposed to face each other. Only Zdeněk Polívka and Jakub Bahník will defend the Czech colors.