The UFC is back in action on Saturday, September 5th with UFC Fight Night 176. The card will be headlined by a pair of heavyweight fighters who are both ranked in the Top 10 when Alistair Overeem takes on Augusto Sakai. Overeem is favored to get the win but is he the best bet? Let’s take a closer look at this weekend’s card.
Augusto Sakai vs Alistair Overeem
Odds: Overeem -180
Overeem is coming off a win in May where he knocked out Walt Harris in the second round. As a result, he’s back in action already and will take on August Sakai, who has won six straight.
Overeem continues to fend off Father Time as the 40-year-old has won three of his last four bouts and is now the No. 6 ranked fighter in the Heavyweight Division. He probably could have won all four of those fights had he been a little smarter against Jairzinho Rozenstruik in December.
As for Sakai, he’s No. 9 and some are wondering just how good he is. His six-fight winning streak was mostly against lesser competition and two of his last three fights – which he won by decision – could have gone the other way. Still, a 4-0 start to his UFC career is impressive. He has a lot of power in his hands, so this fight will come down to whether Overeem’s technical prowess – if he uses it – versus Sakai’s heavy hands.
Zelim Imadaev vs Michel Pereira
Odds: Pereira -120
Michel Pereira has had a rough time in the UFC as he enters Saturday’s fight having lost two in a row. He’s a fighter with some potential but he always seems to have extraneous issues coming into play. In his last fight, he was disqualified for an illegal knee. He missed weight in his fight before that and in 2018, he had a pair of no contests – one of which was also because he missed weight.
Imadaev, who is 8-2 in his career, also enters having lost two straight and both of those losses happened in the UFC. He’s yet to win with the promotion. On the plus side, all eight of his wins were by knockout, so he has that type of power.
Pereira has a lot more experience under his belt – even if much of it isn’t in the UFC. He has been in 36 fights in total whereas Imadaev has only been in 10. That could be the difference in Saturday’s affair.
Ovince Saint Preux vs Alonzo Menifield
Odds: Menifield -135
Menifield had been viewed as a fighter on the rise until he lost a decision to Devin Clark at UFC 250 in June. That was the first loss of his MMA career, dropping him to 9-1. He’ll be in position to get back on track on Saturday but to do so, he’ll have to best a crafty veteran.
Saint Preux has fallen quite a ways from the days where some people thought he’d have a chance to be a Light Heavyweight champion. He lost to Ben Rothwell in May and has now lost five of seven and seven of 12. He’ll try to take this fight down to the ground where he has some success. Menifield has won eight of his nine bouts by knockout and would rather keep this standing.