The top of the UFC Vegas 9 billing just saw a wild rally from the UFC’s #6 ranked heavyweight, Alistair Overeem, to pull off a fifth-round TKO of the #9 ranked, Augusto Sakai. Sakai got off to a great start with a blitzing style, but Overeem showed off his veteran IQ by getting the fight into deep waters into an area he had the biggest advantage. This is two wins in a row for Overeem, who appears to be on quest for one more run at the one belt that has avoided him.
As far as the fight itself, a bit feeling out went on to get things started here. Each man was measuring the other, trying to get a feel for things while respecting the power of the other guy. Sakai then started to blitz in with flurries, followed by some clinch work. They both scored a couple of solid shots from the clinch before they broke free into open space. Overeem landed a strong right hand that caused his foe to stumble, and Sakai scored with another blitz before the bell.
Sakai pressed forward in the second act, blitzing his way into the clinch. He was looking to blast knees from the clinch, but Overeem didn’t seem interested in hanging out there. The veteran responded with a knee of his own, but it wasn’t long before Sakai was flurrying and Overeem was shelling up. They clinched up again and both men scored with knees to the body. By the end of the round, Overeem had some swelling around his temple and Sakai was bleeding from the face.
Sakai stuck with his blitzing attacks in the third round and started to turn it up. He would put Overeem’s back to the fence and tee off with multi-punch combos. Sakai was looking good, but with about 90-seconds left in the round, Overeem got himself a takedown a scored with some ground and pound before the bell.
The fourth round saw a labored Sakai marching down Overeem with a much slower blitz than the previous round. Despite the reduced speed, he was able to score as Overeem would shell up with his back to the cage. An elbow from Sakai cut open the forehead of Overeem, and blood was dripping right between the eyes. An accidental cup kick from Overeem brought a brief pause to the action. Upon the restart, Overeem hit a takedown with about two-minutes left in the round. Overeem began pounding away, causing Sakai to turtle up. Overeem was dropping elbows as the bell sounded. Overeem got a takedown right away in the final round. He quickly went to his elbows and it wasn’t long before the referee was stepping in to rescue Sakai. What a comeback!