Video Credit: Mad Pig

FSM Essential Recap: UFC Fight Night – Overeem vs Sakai – 9/5/2020


Another night of fights is in the books and we were treated to some entertaining performances from some familiar faces and a new one to remember.


In the main event of the night, Alistair Overeem (47-18 25 KOs 17 SUBs) secured a 5th round TKO victory over a very tough Augusto Sakai (15-2). The old dog showed he still has some tricks up his sleeve.


Overeem v Sakai recap
Photo Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

This clash of two Top 10 heavyweights was an intriguing one with the young 29-year-old from Brazil, Sakai looking to earn the biggest win of his career and move up the ranks of the division. But the veteran of 80 combat sports fights (14 kickboxing 66 MMA) showed that despite being 40 years old, he still was a force to be reckoned with among the promotions best.

As Reem looked to pace himself, find his openings, and land at a much higher rate, Sakai was looking to press forward, apply pressure, and overwhelm his opponent with volume. On different occasions, Sakai was able to pin Overeem against the cage and would fire off combinations of shots. Not all would land, but it gave the impression needed to show he was causing more damage on the judges’ scorecards. But being the veteran of the fight game that he is, Reem was able to get the match to the ground and quickly saw that’s where his advantage lay and would shine bright if he was to walk away with the win.


Overeem v Sakai
Photo Credit: MMA Fighting

It was a tale of two fights, while on the feet, Sakai looked to have this bout in the bag and would gain a massive victory for his young career. But when the fight made its way to the mat, Overeem applied brutal ground and pound that looked like target practice. Some hard blows, elbows, and hammer fists, and that was all she wrote as the referee jumped in to call it off—giving the Netherlands fighter another win and one more step closer to another title shot.

A matchup to make would be Overeem vs. Derrick Lewis. The two have been exchanging words via social media, even during the fight, Lewis sent out tweets suggesting he had Sakai winning only because Reem talks too much. Lewis is scheduled for a bout later this year, but if he can hold up his end and get a win, these two warriors set in the cage seems like the logical bout to make.


The co-main event saw a spectacular finish in the Light Heavyweight division by a man who has the most finishes in the divisions history.


Ovince Saint Preux (25-15 12 KOs 8 SUBs) earned his 11th finish in the UFC with a thunderous left hook in the second round to put Alonzo Menifield (9-2) away.

The two would go back and forth exchanging strikes, both finding their mark at different times. Menifield was the aggressor coming forward and finding a home for his overhand right, but OSP, with his size and length, showed that he’s dangerous in the counter role as he would make Menifield pay for overreaching. The former football players (OSP played at the University of Tennessee and Menifield played Arena Football) showed off toughness and grit as neither one backed down, and each had their moments of looking like they were going to put the other away. As Menifield landed some good strikes and forced OSP to back up, he overextended himself, leaving an opening for OSP to land a left hook that face-planted Menifield instantly. So much so, OSP didn’t even need to follow up with strikes on the ground for the fight was over.


Overeem v Sakai recap
Photo Credit: USA Today

A good showing by OSP, who has been in the UFC since 2013, has 22 fights under his belt with the promotion, 11 finishes, 4 of them via Von Flue Choke. While at 37 and outside the top 15 in the division, another run at a title seems like a long shot but, OSP showed he’s not finished yet and still has some good fights left in him for exciting future dates.

Also on the card was a bout between two in the welterweight division that were looking to get in the winner’s circle. Michel Pereira (24-11) earned his seventh submission victory as he forced Zelim Imadaev (8-3) to tap via rear-naked choke in the third round. Pereira, who brings an exciting fight style with his dancing, and unpredictable movement, was looking to get his first victory since his debut in early 2019 then dropped his last two. From start to finish, he looked to be the more relaxed fighter, was the aggressor, stronger, and frequently found a home for his right hand. Whether it was shuffling the feet, putting his hands behind his back, looking down and dancing, or jumping off the cage, Pereira does a lot in the octagon. Still, he also showed that for his size and athleticism in the division, he could be a serious problem for many going forward.

After the win, he called for a shot at the BMF (Bad Mother F***er) title currently held by Jorge Masvidal. Only four fights into his UFC career that might be too far of a jump, but it shows he has his eyes on the prize and is willing to face the best of the best. Dana White may not make that fight next but certainly will give Pereira a step up in competition and see how he holds himself before looking for bigger fights to make for the Brazilian.


Another good night of fights in the books as the UFC continues to entertain us week after week during this period we’ve been in. Only 7 bouts on the card due to COVID-19 complications, but the night was still fun and exciting and we were entertained by some fantastic performances.


Be sure to stay tuned on for the latest in MMA and Las Vegas Sports.

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