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UFC Vegas: Overeem vs Sakai - Sep 5 🇺🇸


Who wins and how?   

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Posted (edited)

Saturday 5th September at the APEX.

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ESPN+ MAIN CARD
Alistair Overeem vs Augusto Sakai 

Ovince Saint Preux vs Alonzo Menifield 

Michel Pereira vs Zelim Imadaev 

Bartosz Fabinski vs Andre Muniz

Brian Kelleher vs Ray Rodriguez   

Montana De La Rosa vs Viviane Araujo 

Cole Smith vs Hunter Azure 


Pretty sweet little card, actually. Not head over heels with that main event but there’s enough about this card as a whole to keep me interested. I’ve totally guessed the bout order there. The cards are all over the place at the moment due to them shuffling the September cards about. I’ll update it as it changes. Because you know it will change between now and the 5th. Many times.

 

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Alistair Overeem vs Augusto Sakai is your Heavyweight headliner. Can’t say I’m in love with this as a main event but it’ll do. Of course, the Reem has earned his spot at the top of pretty much any card. He’s a veteran of 65 MMA fights and he’s spent a lot of that time fighting at the highest levels against the toughest opponents available to him. Even going back 15 years, he was a lanky 205er submitting Vitor Belfort and Igor Vovchanchyn in Pride. He’s had the highs and lows. The streaks and the slumps. He’s felt the wrath of Ngannou and just about lived to tell the tale. He’s still here. And even at 40, he’s still no walk in the park. He’s 3-1 in his last 4. The 3 wins all came by TKO and even the loss, he was winning the whole fight before getting his lip smacked off in the last few seconds of the 5th round. On a good night, Overeem can still give any Heavyweight trouble. And I’m including them all in that. Stipe, Ngannou, the lot. Sakai is the reason I’m lukewarm on this one. He’s not a bad fighter by any means. 29 years old, BJJ brown-belt, 15-1-1 MMA record and he’s on a 6 fight win streak. He’s beaten Arlovski, Tybura and Ivanov in his last 3 so this is a logical step up now. It’s sound matchmaking. I’m just a little bit indifferent to it. Think it’s because I’m still having nightmares about Sakai’s awful fight with Cheick Kongo in Bellator a few years back. Pulling for Reem here. I know we need new blood to step up but fuck it. Before he retires, I’d like to see Overeem work himself into a position to get one last crack at that UFC gold that’s eluded him.

 

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Ovince Saint Preux vs Alonzo Menifield. Of course, this was supposed to go down on the Munhoz vs Edgar card but OSP got COVID. Guess he’s going to be OK because the fight has been quickly rescheduled for this card now. Bit weird really how quick they throw these guys who test positive straight back in there but what do I know, I’m no doctor. Anyway, decent fight. OSP is someone I considered dull early on. Don’t know why I had him pigeon holed like that because anyone who keeps busting out Von Flue chokes like it’s nothing is the opposite of boring. I think a lot of it was bitterness on my part because of that time he went and sparked Shogun in about 20 seconds. I’ve warmed to him a lot over time though. He’s still been pulling off the Von Flues and that headkick knockout against Corey Anderson a while back was epic. Cro Cop highlight reel shit. Not sure I like the timing of this fight for Menifield, to be honest. He’s coming off his first loss at UFC 250 back in June and it was a bit of an eye opener. He didn’t look too clever cardio-wise as the fight went on. He was 9-0 with 9 finishes, 7 in the first round, prior to that loss. So maybe it was just a case of him expecting another early finish and having a great big adrenaline dump when it never happened. Or maybe his stamina is going to be an issue his whole career. Time will tell, I guess. But this as his bounce back fight? I don’t know. OSP’s knocked about and fought some of the best in the game, went the distance with Jon Jones etc. If Menifield doesn’t clobber him early doors I see this getting miserable for him.

 

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Michel Pereira vs Zelim Imadaev is ***WAND’S ONE TO WATCH*** this time, serious potential to be a barnburner, I reckon. Pereira is a full on Tekken character. You never know what the nutcase is going to do next. He burst through the UFC’s doors last year and had one of the most breathtaking debuts ever, stopping Danny Roberts in under 2 minutes. The whole thing was basically a highlight reel. The MMA world was rightly buzzing about him but you know the score. Whenever people start enjoying something, you get the fun police show up. And when Pereira breakdanced himself knackered in his next fight and lost to Tristan Connelly, those miserable fucks couldn’t wait to talk about the ‘hype train getting derailed’ and all that. Truth is, nobody was claiming he’d be the pound-for-pound king or anything. He’d already had 9 losses before he stepped foot in the Octagon. He’s just fun to watch. Not everyone’s going to be the champ, the GOAT, the PPV ‘needle mover’ and all that pish. There’s always room for a mad bastard in a division and Pereira fills that role at 170 perfectly. Imadaev is a tough, aggressive Russian with an 8-2 record and all his wins coming by knockout. He got absolutely sparked by Danny Roberts in his last fight though so he’ll be looking to bounce back in style here. On paper, I think his come forward style might be tailor made for Pereira but we’ll see. Should be fireworks while it lasts whatever happens.

 

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Brian Kelleher vs Kevin Natividad is what they’ve cobbled together now. Was meant to be Kelleher vs Ricky Simon until one of Simon’s cornermen got COVID. So here we are. Always got time for a Kelleher fight. He’s 21-11 now and coming off a points loss to Cody Stamann in June. But he always brings it, he stopped his 2 previous opponents and he’s usually a highlight of any card he’s on. Natividad got the late call to step in. It’s his Octagon debut and he’s 9-1 with 6 finishes. Could be a solid signing. This will be at Featherweight as well. Kelleher usually fights at Bantamweight. I’m just glad Kelleher has stayed on the card.

 

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Bartosz Fabinski vs Andre Muniz. OK fight actually. Fabinski is 34 years old, 15-3, notable wins over Darren Stewart and Emil Meek. Nothing flashy about him but a pretty solid fighter from what I recall of him. He hasn’t been that active the last few years for whatever reason though. Muniz is 30 with a record of 19-4, 16 finishes. Made his UFC debut in November and beat Antonio Arroyo on really short notice. He’s a BJJ specialist and was also on Dana’s Contender Series. Should be a good technical battle.

 

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Montana De La Rosa vs Viviane Araujo is nowt special. Not the worst fight, not the best. De La Rosa is 11-5 with UFC wins over Rachael Ostovich, Nadia Kassem and Mara Romero Borella. More of a grappler from what I remember. She’s alright. Only 25 as well so she could potentially get better with time. Araujo is 8-2. Again, she’s OK but not amazing or anything. She made a big first impression on me in her UFC debut, knocking the shite out of Talita Bernardo. But she hasn’t looked that good since and lost to Jessica Eye on points last time out. Not a bad fight but can’t say I’m too fussed about it.

 

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Cole Smith vs Hunter Azure. Can’t say I’m very familiar with either of these ham and eggers. Smith is Canadian, 31 years old, 7-1 with 5 finishes. Azure is 28, 8-1 with 4 finishes. Both are coming off their first career losses here. Nothing much else to say about this one. 

 

Mostly good stuff there. Like I said, not that into the main event but Worthy vs Azaitar, Pereira vs Imadaev, Simon vs Kelleher and Romanov’s debut more than make up for that. And it’s not like Overeem vs Sakai is bad or anything. It’s not Eye vs Calvillo. I can work with this. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Look at this... If you want a closer look; The battle scars of a 20+ year career in combat sports. 80 pro fights between MMA and Kickboxing. And probably a few more in the early da

Saturday 5th September at the APEX. ESPN+ MAIN CARD Alistair Overeem vs Augusto Sakai  Ovince Saint Preux vs Alonzo Menifield  Michel Pereira vs Zelim Imadaev  Bartosz Fabin

You don’t remember this? 

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never pegged Sakai as someone who would trouble the top of the division but it is kinda cool to see a fresh heavyweight in the main event.

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Maybe that’s partly my indifference to Sakai. We’ve had the same crop of Heavies for so fucking long at the top now that it’s weird when a new kid joins the ranks. They almost have to be some video game character come to life like Ngannou to gain acceptance. 

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I know what you mean. He's had such comparatively-little exposure, and fans have been given so little opportunity to truly get into his career and personality thus far, that it feels like he's a hastily-rushed out DLC add-on by the UFC when they finally realised that people wanted some new characters.

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I can't remember having ever been entertained or impressed by Augusto Sakai. Is that fair? Have I forgotten some hidden gem that he has been involved in? I hate this match making. Hopefully the 'Reem finds some horsemeat this week and knocks Sakai all the way into an undercard in 2021. 

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He may not be entertaining, but he's put together a decent record that includes Arlovski, Tybura, and Ivanov. Only one defeat, and let's face it - Kongo's a banana skin for any HW. Given the sheer scarcity of heavyweight talent at the moment, we really shouldn't be hoping one of the old guard eliminates a new hopeful. Although, to be fair, even if Overeem does win, that same scarcity of talent will probably mean Sakai won't be undercard for long.

EDIT: Looking at various records, what's going on with Sergei Pavlovich? Stats say he's similar to Sakai at 14-1, only lost to Overeem a couple of years ago. 

Edited by Carbomb
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Looks like Overeem is thinking about hanging the gloves up soon.

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Of course, what constitutes a ‘run’ is kind of open to interpretation. But I’m guessing he’s hoping to go on a streak now until he gets that final crack at UFC gold and then call it a day afterwards whatever the result. So if he’s made his mind up on that, his next loss could well be his last fight. 

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Overeem retiring without winning the UFC heavyweight title would be one of the sports real travesties, especially when you think of some of the absolute schmucks who have held titles in the organisation.

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2 hours ago, David said:

Overeem retiring without winning the UFC heavyweight title would be one of the sports real travesties, especially when you think of some of the absolute schmucks who have held titles in the organisation.

Actually, y'know what? I've changed my mind. I would prefer it if Overeem won, although not too convincingly. It wouldn't hurt Sakai much; he's still young enough, he's only got one loss on his record, he's got time to rebuild, and it'd be some good experience for him to come up against someone of Overeem's quality. 

But David's bang on - someone as good as Overeem really should've held the UFC belt a long time ago. Not saying Brock was shit, but let's face it: given what we know now, there's very little chance he'd have got the belt if he'd had to earn a title shot like everyone else - obviously, there was a good reason for it, but as far as I'm concerned, it's grounds to say that Overeem should've had more than his solitary title shot by now. He's way more experienced and accomplished, and it's not like he was a boring fighter either.

Plus man's from Hounslow, bruv. Big up London.

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problem has always been he'll put a couple of wins together then lose horribly, thats the pattern with The Reem. If the chips had fallen right for him he would have got title shots based off two solid wins, but it just didnt pan out.

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Miocic vs Overeem was a good fight as well. Doesn’t get brought up much when the topic of fun one rounders comes up but it was actually pretty great while it lasted. I watched it again recently because my nephew wanted to watch CM Punk’s incredible UFC streak and the Gall fight was on the undercard of Stipe vs Reem. Bit of a weird fight but not a dull moment to be found. Basically goes - Stipe has him on the run early but gets too into chasing him and Reem drops him with a punch. Then there was the guillotine and the whole ‘did Stipe tap or didn’t he?’ (he didn’t). Back on the feet, Reem plays to counter and looks good. Until Stipe starts connecting with some big shots, swarms all over him, they wind up on the floor and Stipe damn near punches him through the canvas for the stoppage.

Really fun, albeit odd one round fight. They could easily hype a rematch just based off the knockdown, the ‘did he tap?’ thing (he didn’t) and the fact it’s Reem’s last shot at UFC gold. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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