A heavyweight headliner between Alistair Overeem and Augusto Sakai is in the planning stages for the fall. UFC is looking at September 5th for Overeem vs. Sakai. The location for this fight is not finalized as of this juncture. The likeliest locations though would be either the UFC Apex or UFC Fight Island (Yas Island in Abu Dhabi). Depending on how things shake out in the coming months. An initial report to ESPN was then confirmed to MMA Junkie via an anonymous source close to the situation.
Overeem vs. Sakai
Alistair Overeem’s last fight saw him dig down deep to defeat Walt Harris via second-round TKO. The finish came on the heels of Harris dropping Overeem early in the first frame. The former Strikeforce and DREAM heavyweight champion is 3-1 in his last four outings with a one hundred percent finishing rate through that stretch. The lone loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik came in the waning seconds of a fight that The Reem was largely dominating.
This fight represents the first UFC main event opportunity for Augusto Sakai. Sakai has yet to taste defeat in the UFC and has collected some meaningful wins during his company tenure. His last outing saw him defeat Blagoy Ivanov via split decision. But Sakai also has wins over Marcin Tybura, Andrei Arlovski, and Chase Sherman to his credit. If Sakai defeats a former UFC heavyweight title challenger in Overeem, his stock rises immensely.
Overeem and Sakai are positioned at number 7 and number 9, respectively (per UFC’s official rankings) ahead of this collision. This is a high stakes bout for both men and a statement win here could potentially shoot the winner to top-five status. It represents one of many key contender ship bouts as the MMA world looks towards the Cormier vs Miocic heavyweight championship rubber match in August.