They’re baaaaaaack! The UFC is back, once again, this Saturday from the mother ship – their UFC Apex gym in Las Vegas. This will be week six there, with at least two more events scheduled for the time being before – perhaps – another trip to the mythical “UFC Fight Island”.
Heavyweight Tilt Tops the Card
This week we have a heavyweight tilt topping the card – Alistair Overeem vs Augusto Sakai. Both men are knockout artists (Overeem 24 of 46 wins via KO; Sakai 11 of 15), but the similarities pretty much stop there. Overeem looks like a Mr. Olympia competitor, while Sakai….um…doesn’t. Overeem started fighting pro in the 1990s, while Sakai was born in the 1990s. Sakai has never been knockout out, while Overeem has had his lights turned on 14 times (and at least seven times more during his pro kickboxing career). Overeem has 65 pro MMA fights (and countless pro kickboxing battles) while Sakai has only 17.
Despite all the wear and tear on the Dutch kickboxer, I’m going with The Reem to win this one (currently he’s on the board at
4/7). The Demolition Man is a far more well-rounded fighter than his Brazilian counterpart, having won 17 fights via submission (Sakai has never tapped out an opponent in a pro fight). Additionally, he’s evolved into a far more cautious and cerebral fighter than he was earlier in his career, surely because his chin isn’t what it used to be. That’s helped him win three of his last four (it would have been four straight if not for a knockout loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik with only four seconds left in a fight he was dominating). I’m counting on him avoiding Sakai’s power and getting himself the W here.
Co-Main Event: Saint Preux v Menifield
The co-main event brings us two light heavyweights scheduled to fight a few weeks ago, before COVID-19 struck one of them. That would be 205-pound stalwart Ovince Saint Preux, who by all accounts is perfectly fine now considering he’s fighting this weekend. While I call him a light heavyweight stalwart, his last UFC fight was actually at heavyweight, where he put on a poor performance in a loss to Ben Rothwell. Now back at 205, I like him in this Saturday’s fight against Alonzo Menifield, more so because he’s a
21/20 dog. He’ll be the bigger man (three inches of height and four inches of reach) and has extensive high level experienced. As well, he’s a sneaky submission artist, and Menifield is coming off of his first career loss. However, I’m not totally sold on this pick, as Menifield is younger and has a much better gas tank.
Other than OSP, another live (hopefully) dog you might want to throw some money at is Cole Smith. The Canadian is currently at
9/5 for his fight against Hunter Azure. While I’m picking Azure to win, I think Smith matches up favourably to him and has a good chance at getting the win and even possibly a knockout.
King Kong Prop
For a prop bet, look to heavyweight newcomer ‘King Kong’ Alexander Romanov. A former national wrestler for Moldova, he brings an impeccable 11-0 pro MMA record to the UFC cage. His wrestling has transferred to the MMA battlefield perfectly, and he’s not just a controlling wrestler – he unleashes vicious ground and pound when he gets his opponent down to the mat. But the important thing here is he has six submission victories on his resume, four of them via choke. His opponent on Saturday, Marcos Rogerio De Lima, has been submitted four times in his career, all of them inside a UFC cage, and all of them via some form of a choke. That is making King Kong to win via submission at
4/1 look like a steal.
*All odds correct at time of writing.