Akonne Wanliss Talks Oktagon 54 Preparation, And Training With Leon Edwards

Oktagon Lightweight Akonne Wanliss is set to compete in the promotion’s Tipsport Gamechanger €1m tournament on March 2 at Oktagon 54, against Sahil Siraj.

“The Jedi’s” last fight came at Oktagon 48 back in November last year, where it was unfortunately called a no contest due to an accidental knee to the groin.

This will mark Siraj’s debut with the promotion, with his last fight being a win over Ahmed Abdulkadirov in KSW.

Wanliss (7-2, 1NC) represents Team Renegade in Birmingham, and trains closely with UFC welterweight champion, Leon Edwards. Wanliss spoke to Cageside Press about how much confidence it gives him, knowing he’s been preparing with the best in the world.

“When I sit down and deep it and think about it, I’m like woah, I’m training with the best welterweight in the entire world, in fact, the best MMA fighter in the entire world, he’s right here in this gym. He’s helped build this gym from the ground up and I remember as a young buck seeing him in the BAMMA days and I found out that he was living in Birmingham and I was living in Wolverhampton at the time and something just connected me to him.

“We’ve got a lot of top tier fighters, I could run down the list but you’ve seen the mats it’s incredible. And that gives me a lot of confidence come fight night.”

This will be the first tournament format fight that Akonne Wanliss has competed in, but he said that doesn’t change his preparation as the goal is till the same.

“A fight’s a fight and I take every single fight seriously like it’s a championship fight so this is no difference to me. Whether it’s five rounds or three rounds I come prepared and the guy in front of me, I take him as the most dangerous guy because he’s going to stop my mission if he beats me,” said Wanliss, adding “so no stone’s left unturned when I step into the cage, and I come to unleash the force and I know he won’t be able to handle it that night, because I don’t take no one lightly and I’m not taking Siraj lightly. He’s round one, I’m not looking into the final and round four already, I’m looking at round one.”

Watch the full interview with Akonne Wanliss ahead of his fight at Oktagon 54 above.