Las Vegas, August 28: UFC kicks off September with a battle between heavyweight KO artists, as No. 6 ranked contender Alistair Overeem faces No. 9 Augusto Sakai.
A 21-year veteran who has competed against the MMA and kickboxing elite, Overeem (46-18 1NC, fighting out of Amsterdam, The Netherlands) still has his sights set on capturing UFC gold.
Over the course of his legendary career, he has delivered memorable knockout wins over former champions Junior Dos Santos and Brock Lesnar, as well as Mark Hunt.
Overeem now aims to stop another rising, young contender and re-assert himself as one of the most dangerous heavyweights on the planet.
Unbeaten since joining the UFC roster in 2018, Sakai (15-1-1, fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil) wasted no time in cracking the heavyweight division's top 10.
Originally signed following a spectacular performance on Dana White's Contender Series, he has since secured impressive victories against Blagoy Ivanov, Marcin Tybura and former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.
Sakai now hopes to take advantage of his first UFC main event opportunity by earning the biggest win of his career.
Additional bouts on the card include:
• Former The Ultimate Fighter standout Sijara Eubanks (6-4, fighting out of Brick, NJ) seeks her second consecutive victory when she meets Karol Rosa (13-3, fighting out of Niteroi, RJ, Brazil) in a bantamweight showdown
• Michael Pereira (23-11 2NC, fighting out of Tucuma, Para, Brazil) looks to deliver another memorable performance when he takes on Zelim Imadaev (8-2, fighting out of Chechen Republic, Russia) at welterweight
• Former women's flyweight champion Nicco Montano (5-3, fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.) goes for her first UFC bantamweight win against streaking Julia Avila (8-1, fighting out of Oklahoma City, Okla.)
• Ricky Simon (16-3, fighting out of Vancouver, Wash.) locks horns with Brian Kelleher (21-11, fighting out of Selden, N.Y.) in an exciting featherweight bout
• Women's flyweight contenders collide when No. 8 ranked Viviane Araujo (8-2, fighting out of Brasilia, DF, Brazil) meets No. 12 Montana De La Rosa (11-5, fighting out of Fort Worth, Texas)
• In a clash of middleweight hopefuls, Andre Muniz (19-4, fighting out of Montes Claros, MG, Brazil) takes on Bartosz Fabinski (14-3, fighting out of Warsaw, Poland)
• Unbeaten heavyweight Alexandr Romanov (11-0, fighting out of Comrat City, Republic of Moldova) debuts against Marcos Rogerio De Lima (17-7-1, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
• Talented lightweights clash when Thiago Moises (13-4, fighting out of Indaiatuba, Brazil) meets Jalin Turner (10-5, fighting out of Fontana, Calif.)
• Cole Smith (7-1, fighting out of Squamish, B.C., Canada) squares off with Hunter Azure (8-1, fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz.) in a battle of promising bantamweight prospects
UFC Fight Night on ESPN+: Overeem vs. Sakai will take place Saturday, September 5 at UFC APEX in Las Vegas with all fights carried exclusively on ESPN+ in English and Spanish.
The main card begins at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, with the prelims kicking off at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT.
Source: Press Release