The UFC APEX Center in Las Vegas, Nevada was home to a great night of fights at UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai. The card saw two (T)KOs, three submissions and two decisions.
*Tonight’s card was only seven fights long due to several Covid-19 positive tests.
The prelims main card opened with a spirited battle between Hunter Azure and Cole Smith that saw Azure bounce back from his first loss to score a unanimous decision here. That was followed up with a dominant performance by Viviane Araujo over Montana De La Rosa, who just couldn’t stop herself from eating nearly 60% of Araujo’s kicks and punches, while only landing 39% of her own.
Brian Kelleher choked out Ray Rodriguez in under a minute and Andre Muniz armbarred Bartosz Fabinski in under three minutes. Michel Pereira put on a super flashy, showboat-ish fight, but just about every kick and punch he threw landed. He did this all the way into the last moments of the fight, right up until he caught Imadaev’s kick, suplexed him and then locked on the rear-naked choke to get a bit of a phantom tap and ultimately, the win.
Ovince Saint Preux wowed fans in the co-main event when he face-planted Alonzo Menifield with a massive counter-left that shut down the power plant in the last minute of the second round. He became the light-heavyweight with the most finishes in UFC history in the process.
The main event was a great back and forth battle between Alistair Overeem and Augusto Sakai, butit would be “The Demolition Man” that would rally back from losing a couple rounds to come on strong late and get the TKO finish in early round 5. It was a great performance by Reem, and a great way to round out a pleasantly short card.
Performance of the Night: Kelleher, Muniz, Pereira, OSP
Brian Kelleher (guillotine choke at :39 of round 1), Andre Muniz (armbar at 2:42 of round 1), Michel Pereira (rear-naked choke at 4:39 of round 3), Ovince Saint Preux (KO at 4:07 of Round 2), and Alistair Overeem (TKO at :26 of Round 5) all finished their fights inside the distance, but it was Brian Kelleher, Andre Muniz, Michel Pereira, and OSP taking the $50K bonuses tonight.
Fight of the Night: None
Hunter Azure (29-28 x3) and Viviane Araujo (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) both heard the final horn, but neither of the fights warranted a bonus in the eyes of the UFC.