Alistair Overeem Set To Return To Combat

When you think of the image that constitutes a warrior, Alistair Overeem usually comes into the picture and with the Dutch combatant preparing for another duel within the confines of the UFC octagon, fight fans are once again preparing for another entertaining display.

September 5th sees Overeem paired up against Augusto Sakai in the UFC’s headline event and although Dana White has the main attraction in place, putting together the rest of the card is proving to be rather more difficult.

Like so many previous events, fighters showing positive COVID-19 tests have hampered White and although that must be of huge frustration to the MMA kingpin, it does at least show that his stringent welfare procedures are working.

Procedures that have meant a rejigging of the card for “Overeem vs Sakai” and with Nicco Montano and Julia Avila set to take square off on August 8th, a positive test for Jon Wood (Montano’s coach) meant the fight has been put back by four weeks.

This Bantamweight bout should be an entertaining one and the fact that both ladies have had to wait an additional month to finally go to war, will surely only add to any intensity that is already brewing under the surface.

While although it was not a positive test that scuppered Maryna Moroz’s hopes of fighting Montana De La Rosa, COVID-19 flight restrictions have and therefore, Viviane Araujo has been drafted in for the Flyweight bout.

While at Light Heavyweight the previously delayed fight – again because of a positive test, between Ovince Saint Peraux and Alonzo Meinfield will finally get the go-ahead, as the former was eventually given a clean bill of health.

Something that the 40-year-old Overeem has going into the pairing with Brazil’s Sakai and after getting the better of Walt Harris in his previous showing, the latest set from the punters for the fight are pointing to more success for the Dutch fighter.

That performance back in May, saw Overeem need just two rounds to get the better of his foe and with a flurry of punches aimed in his direction, Harris was powerless to stop them, as a TKO decision was subsequently awarded.

That victory back in May has taken Overeem’s overall MMA record to 46-18 (1 NC) and although there are perhaps a few too many ticks in the loss column, you would have to write off the English born fighter at your peril.

Because this is a man who has tested himself against the absolute best the sport has to offer and although he has not tasted gold within the UFC, he has been champion in both the Strikeforce and DREAM leagues.

Not to mention his background as a K-1 fighter and 10 years ago, he would reach the pinnacle of Kickboxing after winning the 2010 World Grand Prix, beating legendary compatriot Peter Aerts in the final.

A fighting C.V. which is as good as they come and this means that Augusto Sakai will have his work cut out on September 5th. Then again, if anyone is capable of making that work rather light, it is the 29-year-old.

The Muay Thai fighter approaches this fight off the back of a six-fight winning streak and five of those have come within the auspices of the UFC, including a win over the grizzly Belarussian veteran Andrei Arlovski.

Sakai’s most recent outing was back in May on the “Woodley vs Burns” card and that showing saw him extend his MMA record to 15-1-1 after getting the better of Blagoy Ivanov by virtue of a split decision from the judges.

While although that is a very impressive record, critics will argue over the quality of some of those disposed fighters and even though Overeem has tasted defeat on a far greater number of occasions, you can never underestimate such a seasoned fighter.

Which is why this pairing seems so enthralling and although it will once again play out without the clamour of mass support, it is certainly fight worthy of headlining any card and armchair UFC fans are certainly going to be in for a massive treat.

If Sakai can move on to 16-1-1, he will soon be knocking on the PPV door and aiming for title contention. However, for that to happen he must get past the gatekeeper and ultimately, it is Overeem who currently has the keys to any further success for the Curitiba born gladiator.

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