By: Cameron McCann
UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai Betting Preview
The UFC is back in action this weekend in Vegas at their UFC Apex Centre headlined by Alistair Overeem. The mainstay contender will be taking on Augusto Sakai who is an impressive 15-1-1 with a 4-0 record in the UFC.
Co-headlining the event are light-heavyweights Ovince St. Preux and Alonzo Menifield. The two were supposed to fight two weeks earlier but OSP tested positive for covid. OSP is returning back to light-heavyweight after losing a split decision in his heavyweight debut.
Also on the card is the unbeaten heavyweight Alexander Romanov, making his UFC debut against Marcos Rogério de Lima. The 29-year old Romanian has won all of his professional MMA fights by stoppage, with 9 of 10 of the finishes coming in the first round. Of Rogério de Lima’s 24 fights, three of them have been decided by decision so expect some fireworks in that heavyweight bout.
It’s another event that doesn’t have the draw of a PPV event but that doesn’t there aren’t money making opportunities.
UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai Prop Bets Best Bets
Hunter Azure to win by decision +110
Azure is coming off a loss in his second UFC fight but he did look good in that fight as he was winning before being KO’d by Brian Kelleher late in the 2nd round. That was Azure’s first loss of his professional career and I expect him to bounce back here.
He’s taking on Cole Smith who normally fights in bantamweight. Smith was already at a size disadvantage with a 3-inch smaller reach but moving up in weight classes only increases the disadvantage. Cole Smith is an impressive grappler but his striking needs improvement and it’s not on the level of Hunter Azure’s.
Azure’s last three wins are via decision and I expect him to do the same here. After a KO loss I think he takes this fight a little slower, using his reach and striking advantage to keep Smith at a distance.
Ovince St. Preux/Alonzo Menifield over 1.5 rounds -139
The main reason I’m backing the over here is that both fighters have reliable chins. Menifield has never been KO’d and OSP has only lost via KO twice in his 38 career fights. OSP was last KO’d by Jimi Manuwa back in 2016 who is a lethal power puncher.
St. Preux has survived being KO’d by much higher competition than Alonzo Menifield. OSP has lost by decision to fighters like Jon Jones, Dominick Reyes and Volkan Oezdemir who are all higher level strikers than Alonzo Menifield.
I do like Menifield in this fight as OSP just tested positive for COVID so who knows what his training was like the past two weeks. OSP also fought at heavyweight back in May so who knows how his quarantine effected his weight cut. I still like this fight to reach the halfway point as OSP has the experience and size advantage.
UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai Betting Pick
Alistair Overeem to win fight -164
Overeem is one of the most experienced strikers in MMA history and has been a gatekeeper of the heavyweight division for years now. The fighters that have gotten by Overeem are the ones to pack enough punch to put him to sleep. Losing to heavy hands like Rozenstruik, Blaydes, N’Gannou, and Miocic.
I like Overeem here because I don’t think Augusto Sakai packs that punching power needed to put Overeem away. Sakai has an impressive 4-0 record in the UFC but looking closer at it, two of those wins are via a split decision. Those decision wins came against Andrei Arlovsky and Blagoy Ivanov. It’s no surprise he couldn’t put away Ivanov as he has one of the best chins in the UFC, but Arlovsky is older than Overeem and arguably has a weaker chin.
This is also Sakai’s first 5-round fight, so it will be interesting to see how prepared the heavyweight’s endurance is. One thing I am sure of is Overeem’s ability to compete for 5 rounds. Overeem is a world class striker and if Sakai barely squeaked by Arlovski and Ivanov, I think Overeem can cause a lot more problems for Sakai. A split decision is unlikely here, I think Overeem uses he superior striking skills and size advantage to defeat Sakai.