UFC action returns to the promotion’s APEX Facility in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 5, 2020, for UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs Sakai or UFC Las Vegas 9.

The event will be headlined by one of the most accomplished heavyweights in the promotion in Alistair Overeem. The former Strikeforce and DREAM Heavyweight champion will take on once-beaten Brazilian Augusto Sakai in the headliner of this event. Meanwhile, former 205-pound title challenger Ovince Saint Preux will take on Alonzo Menifield in the co-headliner. The exciting Michel Pereira and prospect Thiago Moises also face separate opponents in this event.

Let’s take a look at Saturday’s fights and make our predictions:

“Fighting" Alistair Overeem vs Augusto Sakai

Alistair Overeem needs no introduction. The former Strikeforce, DREAM, and K-1 world champion is one of the most decorated fighters in the history of the heavyweight division. The 40-year old Dutchman is the 5th ranked heavyweight in the UFC and is one of two fighters in history to hold world titles in MMA and K-1 at the same time. Reem has won three of four bouts after suffering back to back losses to Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes. He is 46-18 with 24 knockouts and 17 wins via submission. Reem is an orthodox fighter who stands 6-4 tall with a reach of 80 inches.

Augusto Sakai is the 8th ranked heavyweight in the UFC. He competed in Bellator before appearing in Dana White’s Contender Series in 2018. The 29-year old Brazilian stands 6-3 tall with a reach of 77 inches and fights out of the orthodox stance. He has a record of 15-1 with 11 knockouts and is 4-0 with two knockouts inside the octagon. Sakai’s last three wins have come against Andrei Arlovski, Marcin Tybura, and Blagoy Ivanov. His only loss came against Cheick Kongo at Bellator 179, via split decision.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds were taken from BetOnline as of 09/04/2020

The main problem with Overeem has always been his questionable chin. Unfortunately for Sakai, he doesn’t have the one-punch knockout power that has put The Reem to sleep 14 times during his decorated career. Without that, Overeem should be able to dominate this fight on the feet with his superior technical skills. Sakai’s lack of impressive power and submission skills will give Overeem the confidence to press the action. I think Overeem uses his boxing skills to keep Sakai at bay and win a decision here.

Prediction: Alistair Overeem

“Fighting" Ovince Saint Preux vs Alonzo Menifield

Ovince Saint Preux is a former UFC lightweight title challenger. The 37-year old has been fighting since 2008 and has appeared for promotions like Strikeforce, XFC, and Shark Fights. This former NCAA football player is the only fighter to win a bout via Von Flue choke submission. OSP is a southpaw who stands 6-3 tall and has a reach of 80 inches. He has a record of 24-14 with 11 knockouts and 8 wins via submission. Saint Preux is 2-4 in his last six bouts.

Alonzo Menifield fought for Bellator, RFA, and LFA before joining the UFC via the Contender Series. The 32-year old from Los Angeles won his first two UFC bouts via knockout but is coming off a decision loss to Devin Clark at UFC 250 last June. He has a record of 9-1 with eight knockouts and one win via submission. Menifield stands 6-0 tall with a reach of 76 inches and is an orthodox fighter.

What are the Moneyline Odds?

Saint Preux




Odds from BetOnline as of 09/04/2020

Saint Preux doesn’t have a fixed game plan when he steps into the octagon. This athletic light heavyweight has a good combination of unorthodox striking and submission skills that have enabled him to manufacture wins. But now that he’s in his late 30’s OSP has been very inconsistent and has been easy to hit and hurt. Menifield is an interesting prospect who’s knocked out most of his opponents without resistance. No doubt, if he can land a big punch early, this is going to be a good night for Saint Preux. However, Saint Preux is a difficult man to put away as he’s been knocked out only twice in his career. If he survives the initial salvo, he will take over this fight, and likely get a submission win.

Prediction: Ovince Saint Preux

“Fighting" Michel Pereira vs Zelim Idamaev

Michel Pereira is the former Serbian Battle Championship welterweight champion. He has been fighting since 2011 and has appeared for other promotions like 300 Sparta, Akhmat Fight Club, Jungle Fight, Xtreme Fighting Championships, and Road Fighting Championship. He is 23-11 with 10 knockouts and five wins via submission and is coming off back to back losses to Tristan Connelly and Diego Sanchez. The 27-year old Brazilian stands 6-1 tall with a reach of 73 inches and is an orthodox fighter.

Zelim Idamaev is a veteran of Cage Fighting, OFS, Fight Night Global before joining the UFC in 2019. The 25-year old from Russia heads to this fight after back to back losses to Max Griffin and Danny Roberts. He is 8-2 with eight knockouts including five in the opening round. Idamaev stands 6-0 tall with a reach of 76 inches and is an orthodox fighter.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds from BetOnline as of 09/04/2020

Pereira is one of the most interesting fighters in the UFC and perhaps the most exciting. There are no exact words to describe his fighting style which includes cartwheels, leaping punches off the cage and other flashy movements. Imadaev is a Russian prospect who mowed down overmatched opposition in his past life. Aside from his knockout power, he has displayed good wrestling and a lot of toughness. However, I’m not sure if he’s equipped to beat a difficult fighter to read like Pereira. If Idamaev survives the first round, he will hope that Pereira gases so he can take over. But because he will have plenty of attacking opportunities against a raw fighter, I like Pereira here.

Prediction: Michel Pereira

“Fighting" Brian Kelleher vs Kevin Natividad

Brian Kelleher is a former Ring of Combat bantamweight champion who also fought for CES MMA and Bellator. The 34-year old from Selden, New York joined the UFC in 2017 and has an octagon record of 5-4. He has dropped three of his last five bouts and has a record of 21-11 with eight knockouts and nine wins via submission. This switch hitter is 5-6 tall with a reach of 66 inches.

Kevin Natividad took this fight on short notice after Ricky Simon was pulled out after one of Simon’s cornermen tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Natividad is a former champion from the Destiny MMA promotion in the amateur ranks. The 27-year old fought for Iron Boy, WFF, and LFA before heading to the UFC. Natividad has a record of 9-1 with five knockouts and one win via submission. He stands 5-6 tall with a reach of 70 inches and is an orthodox fighter.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds from BetOnline as of 09/04/2020

I think this will be one of the more entertaining fights of the evening. Kelleher always pushes the pace and loves the action even if things don’t go his way.  He’s a fighter who starts slow but stays in the fight with his aggression. Because of that, there’s always a tendency that his fights end early- either way. Natividad is a promotional newcomer and like Kelleher, he likes an action fight. He can be sparked and his only loss came in just nine seconds. However, against an opponent who works like a diesel engine, I think Natividad has the tools to put on a fast pace that will cause problems for the slow-starting Kelleher.

Prediction: Brian Kelleher

“Fighting" Thiago Moises vs Jalin Turner

Thiago Moises is a former RFA lightweight champion who also challenged for the Legacy Fighting Alliance lightweight title. The 25-year old from Sao Paulo, Brazil joined the UFC after appearing in the third installment of The Contender Series Brazil. Moises stands 5-9 tall with a reach of 70 inches while fighting out of the orthodox stance. He has a record of 13-4 with three knockouts and six wins via submission. Moises is coming off a submission win over Michael Johnson.

Jalin Turner is a veteran who fought for Bellator MMA, World Series of Fighting, King of the Cage, and Tachi Palace Fights. The 25-year old from San Bernardino, California is 2-2 inside the UFC octagon after joining the promotion following his win over Max Mustaki at the Contender Series 12. Turner is a southpaw who stands 6-3 tall with a reach of 77 inches. Turner is coming off a TKO win over Joshua Culibao.

What are the Moneyline Odds?





Odds from BetOnline as of 09/04/2020

These are under the radar lightweights who are fun to watch and we should have a very exciting fight here. Moises can do a little bit of everything and he has punching power too. However, he isn’t athletic and doesn’t have the explosiveness to be a dominant force at this level. Turner is a knockout artist who is dangerous when he gets going. But he is still very raw and his grappling and defensive wrestling still need plenty of work. With his reach, Turner will try to keep Moises off him. But Moises should be able to force this fight to the ground where he can outwrestle Turner and control the fight.

Prediction: Thiago Moises

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