By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch Senior Columnist
UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai was this past weekend. Let’s get right to the rundown.
UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai
GOOD- Hunter Azure vs. Cole Smith
There was some solid action in this fight. Both guys worked hard and Azure picked up the decision. Good win for Azure.
GOOD- Vivianne Araujo vs. Montana De La Rosa
This was another solid fight. De La Rosa got beat up during this fight but she didn’t give up and kept coming, even cracking Araujo a few times. Arauko won the decision, good win for her.
GOOD- Brian Kelleher submits Ray Rodriguez
Rodriguez got a quick takedown but Kelleher locked on a tight guillotine and Rodriguez had to tap. Good win for Kelleher.
GOOD- Andre Muniz submits Bartosz Fabinski
Fabinski tried for a takedown but Muniz grabbed a tight guillotine. Fabinski was able to escape, though, but Muniz then locked in a tight armbar for the submission. Good win for Muniz.
GOOD- Michel Pereira submits Zalim Imadaev
Pereira beat the hell out of the Imadaev in this fight. He couldn’t finish him, though. Not really, the ref jumped in and stopped the fight towards the end of the third round but Imadaev never gave up. It doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme, as Imadaev was losing on the cards anyway, but that is something to loom into and correct for the ref. Pereira mixed in some open-hand slaps during his beatdown of Imadaev, something he said was payback for Imadaev slapping him at the weigh-ins. I don’t know why Imadaev slapped Pereira at the weigh-ins but that clearly didn’t work for him. Good win for Pereira.
BAD/GOOD- Ovince St. Preux stops Alonzo Menifield
The pace of this fight was very slow. Sometimes it picked up and got exciting but at other times it was competed at a snail’s pace. OSP dropped Menifield with a big counter just over 4 minutes into the second round for the win. Nice win for OSP but it won’t do much to chance the perception of him as an up and down fighter just as likely to have an exciting fight as a boring one.
GOOD- Alistair Overeem stops Augusto Sakai
Overeem started slowly, conserving his energy, which allowed Sakai to take the early advantage. Overeem started coming back in the third round, though, and he landed some big shots. Overeem really did a lot of damage with some vicious ground-and-pound, especially at the end of the fourth round. Sakai survived, but barely, and when Overeem started the fifth round with a takedown, it was over. Sakai had had enough and Overeem blasted him a bit before the ref jumped in to stop the fight. Good win for Overeem.
UFC Heavyweight Champion Stipe Miocic has said that he should be the first option if Brock Lesnar comes back to MMA. I disagree for a few reasons, but I know Miocic is saying that because of the payday that fight would involve. And I don’t want to take money away from anybody but I normally wouldn’t want the champion fighting someone other than the top contender. However, in this case I could see an exception being made. I still wouldn’t do it, as Francis Ngannou has won four fights in a row, but I could see the UFC going that route. They’ve certainly done a lot worse. If Ngannou doesn’t get Miocic next, then you have to give him Jon Jones moving up to heavyweight. I think that’d be a pretty big money fight and you could also bill it as a number one contender’s fight with the winner getting the next title shot. I still don’t think Brock comes back to the UFC but if they offer him a lot of money, that’d be hard to turn down. I guess we’ll have to wait to see what happens.
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