Toxteth born, Shaqueme ‘Shem’ Rock (8-1-0) will make the trip to Bratislava, Slovakia in a month’s time as he will square off against lightweight contender, Jakub Bahnik (9-4-0) at Oktagon 42 at the Zimny Stadion.

The fight will mark the 29-year-old’s Oktagon debut after signing a four-fight deal with the promotion back in January.

Rock will have a keen eye on the main event as lightweight champion, Losene Keita will be chasing champ-champ status, when he takes on featherweight champion, Mate Sanikidze.

The Scouser believes if both he and the champion win, it’ll be the perfect narrative to set up a title fight in the 155-pound division.

He said: “If me and him both get big wins we are going to fight, I’m looking to run through this guy (Bahnik) in the first round, put on a clinic, put the division on notice, and then I will call him out straight, I’m not here to mess around or work my way through the division, I’m coming straight for the champion.

“I hope he does win, I hope he runs through his opponent and becomes double champ because then it’ll be an even bigger fight when I fight him. If I finish my fight and he’s got the win and I get the win, I’ll be looking to jump in the cage and call him out and get a face-off going to set up our fight, I’m hungry.”

The journey has been far from easy for Rock after spending six years on the run, wanted by Merseyside Police for aggravated burglary.

In 2014, the faces of Rock and his cousin appeared on TV show, Crimewatch and were plastered on the Liverpool city centre screens despite not being at the scene of the crime.

The Liverpool 8 man made the decision to flee the country and fly to Malaysia where he stumbled across Jiu Jitsu.

“I ended up finding Jiu Jitsu by accident, I walked past a sign that said Jiu Jitsu and I was deluded, thinking I was going to smash everyone, but I ended up getting choked out by kids and old men and then I remember going home thinking to myself, I need to do that to other people” said Rock.

Shem then started training three times a week, before beating some of Asia’s top fighters and then two months later, he found himself becoming one of the top fighters in Malaysia and went on to feature in ONE Championship’s Warrior Series in Thailand.

“When I went down to the try out, there were a few hundred people and out of the lot, they selected me and another girl called Stamp Fairtex (Muay Thai kickboxer) and I got picked for the show, I signed the contract and then I headed back to Malaysia and they (ONE championship) were on the phone after seeing the articles and they released me there and then” Shem said.

Rock was then remanded in custody at HMP Liverpool in Walton for six months before being found not guilty at a trial at Liverpool Crown Court.

Shem Rock Liverpool Crown Court @shemrockbjj via Instagram

Rock has been training out of Next Generation MMA with UFC superstars, Paddy Pimblett and Molly McCann and in that time he has won two world title fights, and on April 29 he will have a massive opportunity to take one step closer to a third under new promotion, Oktagon.

Rock will be entering the octagon looking for another “first-round finish” knowing a statement win could hand him the golden ticket to a world title fight.