UFC fans, buckle up for another exciting edition of UFC fight night, Alistair Overeem vs Augusto Sakai, Saturday at the Apex Facility in Las Vegas. It will be exciting to see another bout between a seasoned veteran and a rising star. We’ve seen several fights recently between old guard fighters being challenged by up-and-coming brawlers.
Alistair Overeem (46-18-0) vs Augusto Sakai (15-1-1)
Betting Line: Overeem (-150); Sakai (+120)
Alistair “The Demolition Man” Overeem is a veteran of UFC and MMA. Born in 1980, Overeem is from the Netherlands, where he studied mixed martial arts and kickboxing. He’s a former K-1 World Grand Prix Champion, DREAM Heavyweight Champion, and Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion.
At 40, Overeem comes into this fight ranked #6 in the heavyweight class. He has an impressive resume and has defeated former UFC champions like Andrei Arlovski, Junior dos Santos, Frank Mir, and Brock Lesnar.
He began his career in UFC in 2011 and has been a staple in the heavyweight division since. He had a title fight in September 2016 against Stipe Miocic, losing via KO.
Despite his age, Overeem is still a highly competitive fighter. He has won three out of his last five fights. He’s long been considered one of the most balanced fighters in the heavyweight division. He specializes in powerful kicks to the body, mixed with devastating knee strikes.
Augusto dos Santos Sakai was born in 1991 and is 29. He began his MMA career in 2011 in his native Brazil, where he went undefeated in six fights.
In 2013 he made his debut for Bellator MMA. where over the span of four years he lost once, to Cheick Kongo via split-decision. It’s the only professional fight he has lost.
His first UFC fight was back in September of 2018 against Chase Sherman, a fight that he won via TKO in the third round. Since then he has won every single UFC fight that he’s participated in with a total UFC record of 4-0.
He’ll be coming into this fight ranked #9 in the UFC heavyweight division, three spots behind his opponent. It will be exciting to see how he matches up against an older, more experienced fighter. Sakai has never been knocked out. He’s coming into this fight as the underdog although not by a big margin.
He has a similar fighting background to Overeem. He fights for the Noguchi Team, which specializes in Muay Thai kickboxing. He also trains with Gile Ribeiro, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu team, which is his primary gym.
Let’s take a quick look at how these fighters compare in size and analyze basic fighting stats before predicting a possible outcome.
As far as stature goes Overeem is 6-foot-4”, weighs 253 pounds. and has an 80-inch reach. His opponent is 6-foot-3, weighs 259, and has a 77-inch reach. They are almost equal in height, but Overeem’s three-inch reach advantage could come into play. Sakai does have an extra six pounds, which could work to his advantage especially on the ground.
Their basic fighting stats are quite different. Overeem lands 3.66 signature strikes per minute while Sakai dishes out 5.45 signature strikes landed per minute. This means that Sakai is landing almost 1.5 times more strokes per minute than his opponent. This could be a big factor if this fight goes to a decision.
On the other hand, Overeem is more accurate. His signature strike accuracy is 63.13% while Sakai’s is 46.76%. Overeem also has a much higher takedown average, 1.40 as compared to Sakai’s 0.19
Both fighters fought and won in May so there’s no difference in terms of who has their head more in the game. This year we’ve seen some big upsets in the main cards and part of this is probably due to the fact that some fighters haven’t stepped a foot in the octagon since 2019.
Overall, this is shaping up to be an even fight between worthy opponents.
BetUS Free Pick: Overeem -150
There are lingering doubts about whether Sakai has what it takes to topple an experienced fighter like Overeem. The Demolition Man didn’t earn his nickname by losing easily. He’s one of the most accomplished MMA fighters competing in the heavyweight division right now and his resume backs that up.
Sakai only recently broke into the top 10 and hasn’t faced many elite-level fighters. During his last fight, he defeated Blagoy Ivanov in a contentious split decision and he will have a much tougher matchup against Overeem. It will be a true test to see if Sakai is ready for the top tier of the heavyweight division.
Keep checking our MMA news page for the latest updates as we get close to another exciting night of UFC.