Experience proved the decisive factor as veterans Alistair Overeem, 40, and Ovince St. Preux, 37, scored knockout victories at UFC Fight Night 176 in Las Vegas, Nevada yesterday September 7, 2020.
Overeem fought a measured fight in the early rounds against the younger Augusto Sakai, 29, content to trade strikes at the center of the Octagon in their Heavyweight bout. Overeem made his move late in the third round. He brought down his opponent then administered vicious ground and pound.
Overeem continued the strategy the rest of the way with the referee stopping the fight 26 seconds into the fifth round to save his opponent from further damage.
St. Preux was equally cautious against KO artist Alonzo Menifield. St. Preux kept his distance while circling his opponent and trading strikes.
Menifield overextended himself late in the second. He lunged forward leaving his face unprotected for a split second. It was all the opening St. Preux needed as he landed a counter left hook flush on the jaw to knock out Menifield.
Overeem tallied his 47th win against 18 losses. The fight went according to plan said Overeem who did not really expect a quick end.
“I kinda knew he was durable. He could take a shot. He could take a punch. I kinda felt (we could go) second or third round. Take it to five. I kinda knew it would not be first round,” said Overeem.
“I was actually focused on maybe submission. But I kinda saw the damage was substantial in the ground (and pound). I thought, well done. I’ll just stick to this.”
Overeem seemed to gain his second wind late in the third. He put his arms around Sakai, brought the big Brazilian down into the ground then proceeded to administer punishing ground and pound with punches and elbows. He split open Sakai’s left eyebrow which left blood pouring out.
Sakai regained his bearings early in the fourth and proceeded inflict damage with strikes while they were upright. Sakai opened a cut on Overeem’s forehead with an elbow and seemed to be in control until Overeem clinched again and brought him down again.
Sakai was still on full guard but Overeem was so long that he could hold Sakai’s left hand with his own left and then come down with heavy elbows on Sakai’s head and face.
Sakai barely survived the fourth round. But the referee stopped the fight just 26 seconds into the final round.
It was the 55th professional fight for Overeem who felt that he still had more to give before hanging up his gloves.
“I just keep learning and keep evolving. That’s one of the things as a fighter that you need to always do. And again, I’m very happy with the guys at Denver Team Elevation. Because they just got a lot of new stuff and I’m just soaking it up. Great chemistry there,” said Overeem.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.