Alistair Overeem once again returns to the Octagon as the 40-year-old makes one last run at UFC gold. In what will be his 65th professional MMA fight he meets up and comer Augusto Sakai who has been on a tear since joining the premier MMA organisation, winning three on the bounce. On what is a skinnier card than usual we also see TUF finalist Sijara Eubanks against rising star Karol Rosa and a rebooked co-main Light Heavyweight bout between Ovince Saint Preux and Alonso Menifield. We dive into a few of the fights below with a selection in the main event, a rehashed preview of Saint Preux vs Menifield and an undercard value play.
I really pondered over this one for quite some time before arriving on Overeem. However, before going into why I am leaning towards Overeem it must be noted that the $1.60 on offer for the fight to end by KO on Beteasy is worth snapping up quick. I would be shocked to see this going 5 rounds, as it would be safe to assume both men will back their striking to stand and trade which will ultimately render the judges scorecards redundant. One of two ways to play this is to back the fight to end via KO. The other that offers more value is Overeem to finish Sakai by KO.
Sakai has never been stopped in his career with his sole loss coming via decision, however, Overeem has the variety and power in his strikes to cause Sakai all sorts of issues when trying to turn this into a dirty boxing fight. Since dropping consecutive fights to Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes, Alistair Overeem has won three of his last four contests all by the way of knockout. Sakai on the other hand is yet to reach the top of the heavyweight division and still looks a year or two off doing so. I believe this will be a step too big too soon for the Brazilian who will face a reality check from the Reem, likely being finished in the second or third round.
I previewed this fight two weeks back and my view hasn’t changed whatsoever in that time. Both men are as explosive as each other and can get a finish in an instant. OSP would be smart to not hunt the KO and instead look to get it to the ground and aim to get his favourite von flue choke. Menifield fades after round 1 and although someone with the power he possesses can never be written off, if OSP lasts the first round heat Menifield throws at him I fully expect him to put away a tiring Menifield in round 2 or 3. First time around we could get $5.50 by submission but the $4.50 on offer this time still looks overs so will go the same once again.
After missing weight at Light Heavyweight twice back in 2017, de Lima returned to heavyweight with two wins in his last three fights. He is a genuine finishing threat, getting finishes in 15 of his 17 wins. His opponent, Alexander Romanov, holds a perfect 11-0 record as he enters the UFC. He is as strong of a man as I have seen, which is why he has secured wins by forearm chokes as well as a slam victory in his last fight, all very rare occurrences in MMA. This fight could go one of two ways, either de Lima staunches Romanov in the first round and puts him away or Romanov clinches up, throws him to the ground like a grappling dummy and ragdolls him. I am going with the latter, firstly on value at $7 and secondly on the man being pure Romanian steel with very similar submissions to Aleksei Oleinik.
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