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Augusto Sakai stands on the doorstep to relevance in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s heavyweight division, with an all-time great blocking his path forward.
The once-beaten Brazilian will put his six-fight winning streak on the line when he meets former Dream, Strikeforce and K-1 World Grand Prix champion Alistair Overeem in the UFC Fight Night 176 headliner on Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Ovince St. Preux tackles Alonzo Menifield in the three-round light heavyweight co-feature.
Sakai has pieced together a 4-0 record since he joined the UFC roster in 2018. The 29-year-old Bellator MMA veteran last competed at UFC on ESPN 9, where he eked out a split decision over former World Series of Fighting champion Blagoy Ivanov on May 30 and moved into the heavyweight Top 10. Sakai has delivered 11 of his 15 professional victories by knockout or technical knockout, including a 59-second rout of onetime M-1 Global titleholder Marcin Tybura a little more than a year ago.
Overeem, 40, boasts a resume few can match, even though UFC gold has thus far eluded his grasp. The Elevation Fight Team export has rattled off three wins across his past four appearances and last fought under the UFC on ESPN 8 marquee in May, when he rallied to stop Walt Harris with second-round punches. Overeem has beaten six former UFC champions: Vitor Belfort (twice), Fabricio Werdum (twice), Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, Junior dos Santos and Andrei Arlovski.
UFC Fight Night “Overeem vs. Sakai”—which streams live to ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT—also features a welterweight affair matching Michel Pereira with Zelim Imadaev, a featherweight tilt pitting Brian Kelleher against Kevin Natividad and a lightweight battle pairing Thiago Moises with Jalin Turner. ESPN+ will also provide coverage of the four-fight undercard, starting at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.
A closer look at the UFC Fight Night 176 “Overeem vs. Sakai” particulars:
THE LINEUP265: Alistair Overeem vs. Augusto Sakai
205: Ovince St. Preux vs. Alonzo Menifield
170: Michel Pereira vs. Zelim Imadaev
145: Brian Kelleher vs. Kevin Natividad
155: Thiago Moises vs. Jalin Turner
185: Andre Muniz vs. Bartosz Fabinski
125: Viviane Araujo vs. Montana De La Rosa
265: Alexander Romanov vs. Marcos Rogerio de Lima
135: Cole Smith vs. Hunter Azure
THE RUNDOWN• Preview: The Main Card
• Preview: The Prelims
• Weigh-in Report
• By The Numbers: St. Preux vs. Menifield
• Rivalries: Alistair Overeem
• Prime Picks
Related Coverage »
• Sherdog’s Official Mixed Martial Arts Rankings
• Sherdog’s Pound-for-Pound Top 10 Rankings
• Sherdog’s WMMA Pound-for-Pound Top 10 Rankings
• Matches to Make After UFC Fight Night 175
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