UFC Fight Night 176: Alistair Overeem vs Augusto Sakai- Prediction and Analysis

Published 09/05/2020, 7:00 AM EDT


UFC Fight Night 176 will see heavyweight fighters Alistair Overeem and Augusto Sakai collide in a five-round fight. Given the duos positions in the heavyweight rankings, the match will have major ramifications on Overeem’s title aspirations as he winds down his career.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Sakai is entering the prime of his career, and a win against the Dutch MMA legend will put the division on notice. However, this will be his most formidable challenge.

Alistair Overeem

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

The Demolition Man’ enters his second fight for 2020 with a huge goal. After beating Walt Harris in May, he claimed to be running out of time to earn a long-cherished UFC championship. 

Overeem has fallen to the higher-ranked fighters in the division, but experienced success against all other contenders. A loss here could be the last straw as he would occupy the gatekeeper slot for heavyweights aiming to break into the top 10.

Augusto Sakai

The 29-year-old fighter Sakai has 11 career T/KO wins. He is yet to lose in his time in the UFC. The Brazilian suffered only one professional defeat. This was a split decision against Cheick Kongo at Bellator MMA in 2017. 

The fighter is on a six-fight win streak and beat former UFC champion Andrei Arlovski in the ongoing run. He is ranked #9 and a win here could see him leapfrog Alexander Volkov, Junior Dos Santos, and Overeem to #6. 

UFC Fight Night 176 Prediction

The fight will be a striking battle as Sakai has zero submission wins as a professional. Overeem boasts of 17 submission victories, but the last one came during his time at ‘Dream’ in 2009. Since then he has won 11/15 fights via T/KO. 

Overeem landed 3.66 significant strikes per minute in his UFC fights with a 63% strike accuracy. He absorbs 2.18 significant strikes and deflects 59% of his opponent’s strikes. 

Sakai’s UFC numbers show that he is the fighter who will force the pace. The Brazilian landed 5.45 significant strikes per minute and a 46% accuracy. However, in being the attacking fighter, he compromises in his defense. Sakai absorbed 3.89 significant strikes every 60 seconds. 

This could prove costly against a wily veteran like Overeem who has come up against the best and beaten them all. He has been out-landed but keeps coming back. Fans saw this in his war against Jairzinho Rozenstruik, where he made it to the final seconds before being overwhelmed.

Both fighters have a high takedown defense. However, it may not factor into the UFC Fight Night 176 main event as they generally avoid this form of attack. 

‘The Demolition Man’ landed only seven takedowns in his last 19 fights. Three have come in his last two visits to the cage against strikers.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Overeem, who is a thinking fighter, could use a takedown to nullify the striker’s vertical base. Sakai’s 83% takedown defense may be tested here. 

Overeem will bring his fight IQ to the fore and seems to be the favorite. Sakai will have to end it early or capitalize on one good strike with a series of strikes to ensure ‘The Demolition Man’ doesn’t get back to his feet. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

 

Prediction: Alistair Overeem to win via 2nd round TKO

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Reubyn Coutinho

1008 articles

Reubyn Coutinho is a Combat Sports editor at EssentiallySports with over 2 years of journalistic experience. Having earned his bachelor's degree in Mass Media with a specialization in Journalism from Xavier's College, Reubyn has interned with the sports desks at DNA and Times Now before joining EssentiallySports to further his passion for sports content. Reubyn has interviewed former UFC champions like 'Mighty Mouse' Demetrious Johnson and Miesha Tate.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT