UFC Fight Night 176 ‘Overeem vs. Sakai’ Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

By: Jay Pettry
Sep 5, 2020
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Cole Smith (135) vs. Hunter Azure (135.5)

Round 1

This kneecapped seven-fight main card – there are no prelims, every fight is a main card offering – begins with two men trying to bounce back from their first career defeats, as Smith (7-1, 1-1 UFC) welcomes Azure (8-1, 1-1 UFC) back to the bantamweight division. Referee Mark Smith will oversee this classic U.S. vs. Canada matchup, and a glove touch checks in the first fight of the night. Smith opens up with a jumping front kick, and Azure swats it away and avoids a few more high front kicks. Azure slaps him with a low kick, and Smith gets warned for outstretching his fingers. Smith kicks him in the chest and leg, and Azure barrels down on him but pulls back as soon as a big counter comes at him. Azure yo-yos back in and lifts the Canadian in the air to plant him on his back. Smith scrambles to get back up and tries to go after his own takedown, but Azure defends it with a guillotine choke to threaten. The two men stand, and Azure slams him in the leg with a kick and follows it with a left hook and a right that send Smith crashing to the canvas. Azure is on him like a flea on a dog, and he hops on to Smith’s back while wailing away at him with ground-and-pound. Smith toughs it out and gets back to his knees, and powers his way back to his feet to pursue a single leg of his own. Azure stuffs it and lands an elbow, but Smith returns fire with a blistering elbow that knocks Azure’s mouthpiece out. Referee Smith replaces it, and the two separate and trade leg kicks. Smith kicks at the body with a few front kicks, and Azure catches one, ducks a spinning back fist and shoots in for a takedown. As he secures it, Smith throws up an armbar trap, but Azure is wise to it and spins out. Azure steps into guard, thwarts another armbar setup and advances to half guard. Smith flips his leg up, and although he misses any submission attempt, he rolls to his knees and stands back up. Azure is right there to try to drag him back down, and this time Smith staves it off and forces a separation. Smith jabs with a few more front kicks, takes a leg kick and tries to reply with a right hook. Azure ducks it, lands his own punch, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Azure
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Azure
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Azure

Round 2

Smith sticks out his leg repeatedly to begin the second round, using his toes as piercing jabs. Azure quickly grows tired of those kicks and slings an overhand right that barely misses the target. Smith backs off to kick the leg a few times, and draws Azure in to attack. The Montana native clips him with a right hand as he closes the distance, and when he pursues a takedown, Smith turns him around on the fence and lands his own. Azure quickly scrambles but, in the process, gives up his back, and Smith snatches it for but a moment. Azure fights out of the position and takes control of Smith’s back briefly, but the two separate and give up on their back takes. Azure rips a right hand up top and the two try to take one another down, and Azure manages to get around to take Smith’s back again while standing and mashing Smith’s face on the fence. Smith powers out to turn around only to find himself getting dragged down from a double leg takedown. The Canadian does not stay grounded for long, and Referee Smith calls for them to work. With Smith’s back on the fence, Azure chains into a double and then wraps his hands around his opponent’s waist from behind. The American successfully drags him down, although he takes a heavy elbow to the side of the head on the way down. Smith looks exasperated as he tries to fight back to his feet, as Azure clings to him like saran wrap. Smith stops one final takedown in the round with a resounding elbow to the side of the head, and they separate and swing at the horn.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Azure
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Azure
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Azure

Round 3

Like the last two, Smith jabs with his legs, throwing single, naked kicks as Smith times counter lefts and rights. Smith works the leg again and jumps forward with a knee, but Azure backs away to avoid it. Smith wades forward with a few looping punches, and Azure rolls with them and stops the advancing man with a takedown attempt. Smith stands him up but finds himself trapped against the cage wall as precious seconds tick off the clock. A sense of urgency suddenly finds Smith, as he powers out and throws up a head kick. Azure blocks the kick and the two paw at each other with jabs. Smith lands a heavy right hand, and as he rushes in, Azure knocks him off his feet – the strike may not have been a knockdown blow, but rather than Smith lost his balance. When “The Cole Train” gets rolling again, Azure is on him and rams him into the fence with a double leg takedown. Smith lets fly a few downward elbows that just have enough arc on them to not be 12-6 strikes, and he uses the surprising power of these strikes to get back to his knees and on his feet. Azure hops on like a backpack, but Smith shucks him off and takes Azure’s back. When Azure tries to turn about, Smith elbows him in the head and hits a double. Azure rushes back to his feet and Smith now is on his back in the air, with a body lock as Azure is leaning against the fence. Smith sets up a standing rear-naked choke, and Azure’s legs look fatigued and he falls over. Smith keeps a tight body triangle and hunts for the choke again, but Azure fights the hands to break the grip and return to his knees. Smith drags him back down with the body lock, and he tries one last time to get the choke. He cannot get it done, and lands a few punches before the final horn ends the match.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Smith (29-28 Azure)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Smith (29-28 Azure)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Smith (29-28 Azure)

The Official Result

Hunter Azure def. Cole Smith via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Marcos Rogerio de Lima (260.5) vs. Alexander Romanov (259)

Round 1

The bout was canceled Saturday afternoon after Rogerio de Lima tested positive for COVID-19. The news was first reported by Combate's Ana Hissa.

Montana De La Rosa (125.5) vs. Viviane Araujo (126)

Round 1

Dropping down 10 pounds and switching genders compared to the men's bantamweight match that preceded it, women's flyweights square off as De La Rosa (11-5, 4-1 UFC) tries to hand Araujo (8-2, 2-1 UFC) her second consecutive defeat. The Octagon ranger preceding over this bout between two women that like to submit their opponent is referee Jason Herzog, and they opt to clap hands before initiating their hostilities. The two women jump at one another and punch each other in the face, and hop backwards. Araujo comes out firing, and De La Rosa sits back to counter. The American rushes in with a few strikes, and Araujo backs off to avoid and roll with the punches. They both swing and miss with big hooks, and Araujo nails the body with a right hand. De La Rosa catches her coming forward with a left hook, and she wades forward to continue her attack and may have clacked heads with her opponent. When De La Rosa swings and misses, Araujo slaps at her lead leg hard. Araujo goes after the body again, ducks down and blasts De La Rosa with a big overhand right. De La Rosa wears it well and takes as heavy leg kick, but Araujo cracks her with another right hook. De La Rosa takes her down, but the Brazilian springs up, circles around and takes De La Rosa’s back. The American pushes off and gains separation, where she uses it to charge with a barrage of punches that hit nothing but air. Araujo lands hard to the lead leg, and De La Rosa is already changing her stances to hide what might be a damaged leg. “Vivi” stalks her down and sticks her with a power jab, and a thin trickle of blood streams from De La Rosa’s nose. Araujo keeps after her with another nasty right hook, and she ends a combination with a leg kick that frustrates the American. As blood continues to flow, De La Rosa is forced to open her mouth and attack recklessly with looping shots that fall shy of her intended target. Araujo over-extends herself with strikes and falls into a body lock takedown attempt, but the Brazilian keeps her balances and shoves De La Rosa away. Araujo stuffs a takedown with ease from a distance, and she makes De La Rosa pay with a few left hands on that busted nose. De La Rosa fires back with her own left, and takes a leg kick for her efforts. Araujo ends the round with a takedown attempt, and the horn sounds before she can land it.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Araujo
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Araujo
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Araujo

Round 2

They touch gloves again to begin the second frame, and De La Rosa flicks out a low kick. Araujo jabs her way in and closes the distance, but pushes away when De La Rosa tries to take her down. Araujo works the lead leg and forces and advancing De La Rosa to back away quickly. When De La Rosa lifts her leg in anticipation of a kick, Araujo goes over the top with a left. The big right hand from Araujo finds its home in the side of De La Rosa’s head, and she takes a leg kick that forces her to limp backwards. Araujo goes after it again quickly, and backs away to leap in for a superman punch. De La Rosa eats two punches flush as she tries to throw back at the Brazilian but falls short. Araujo’s herky-jerky style irritates De La Rosa, and the American eats a couple jabs. De La Rosa returns fire after eating a combination with a leg kick, and she scores a big right hand but gets cracked with one that opens up a cut on her left eye. De La Rosa’s mouth is wide open as she keeps getting kicked to the lead leg and punched in the face, but she slings back with looping right hands and front kicks up the middle. De La Rosa backs her off with a few body kicks, and barely avoids a huge right hand that has busted her up earlier this fight. De La Rosa tries to kick her away with a pair of side kicks, but Araujo still manages to get in on her and land a few left hands. De La Rosa reaches with a left hand, but it is one-and-done, and she scores a low kick too. Araujo blocks a few kicks flying at her and rushes in with a few punches. De La Rosa uses more kicks to keep her distance and reach the end of the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Araujo
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Araujo
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Araujo

Round 3

The two greet with a final touch of gloves, and both jab at one another. Araujo rushes forward with a right hook and gets pushed away by her opponent. De La Rosa tries to get off a few left hooks, and she does successfully land a leg kick. De La Rosa scores a left hook and bullies Araujo against the fence, where she ties her up with one arm and uppercuts her a few times. Araujo responds with her own uppercuts, and the two separate and land a jab at the same time. Araujo swings and misses with a right hook, and then they jab each other again. De La Rosa paws at her with a pair of left hands, and like a few times already, they simultaneously connect with jabs. Araujo loads up with punches, and De La Rosa pump fakes with her hands down to taunt the Brazilian. They clash together and De La Rosa gets the better of the exchange, and backs away using a front kick to cover her. Araujo flicks out a jab, and another knocks De La Rosa’s head back. The jab keeps coming, and De La Rosa rushes in for a takedown but cannot get it, so she wings a few uppercuts that partially land. Araujo’s jab continues to flow, just like the blood from De La Rosa’s face from eating these strikes. Araujo slams her right hand into De La Rosa’s face, and the American walks it off and looks no worse for wear, relatively speaking. These jabs land almost at will for Araujo, and De La Rosa bull-rushes in for a takedown from across the cage. Araujo gets off an uppercut while De La Rosa lowers her head, and the Brazilian fights her off and circles out to take the center of the cage. De La Rosa gets off a few left punches, and the two come together and both land successively until they back off. One last salvo concludes the match, and the two ranked flyweights embrace after a hard-fought battle.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Araujo (30-27 Araujo)
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Araujo (30-27 Araujo)
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Araujo (30-27 Araujo)

The Official Result

Viviane Araujo def. Montana De La Rosa via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Ray Rodriguez (145) vs. Brian Kelleher (146)

Round 1

On extremely short notice, Kelleher (21-11, 5-4 UFC) will now be taking on Rodriguez (16-6, 0-0 UFC), as former opponent Kevin Natividad was scratched on Saturday due to complications arising from COVID-19 tests. Rodriguez made weight on Friday as the backup, and the promotion was anticipating this unfortunate situation. Referee Herb Dean probably should be wearing a mask for this featherweight contest, but social distancing does not apply in a cage fight as the two men touch gloves. Kelleher walks in to strike but blocks a head kick zooming at him. Rodriguez reaches towards him with several jabs and rushes in with a left hand and a takedown. When Rodriguez hits it, he leaves his neck exposed and falls right into a guillotine choke. “Boom” locks it up and squeezes with all his might, and there is nothing that Rodriguez can do to get out of this position. A few seconds later, Rodriguez surrenders as he would be out cold if he held out any longer. Dean stops the fight, and Kelleher jumps up in the air to celebrate that he was not only able to compete tonight, but that he secured a quick, dramatic win.

The Official Result

Brian Kelleher def. Ray Rodriguez R1 0:39 via Submission (Guillotine Choke)

Bartosz Fabinski (184.5) vs. Andre Muniz (185.5)

Round 1

Up next at middleweight, Fabinski (15-3, 3-1 UFC) returns to the Octagon after the promotion lent him to Cage Warriors in March. “The Butcher” will take on sophomore Brazilian competitor Muniz (19-4, 1-0 UFC) at middleweight, and the third man inside the cage is referee Mark Smith. The two touch gloves, and Muniz starts out firing with a head kick. Fabinski instantly shoots in for a takedown when he blocks it, seeking a double leg, but the Brazilian stands him up. Muniz fends off a single as well, and Fabinski resorts to grinding him against the cage before dropping low for another double. Muniz defends it by elbowing Fabinski in the side of the head, and we return to a stalemate clinch position. Smith calls on Fabinski to work, so the Polish fighter obliges with a single left hand. Muniz grabs hold of his wrist to stop those, so Fabinski tries to knee him in the stomach and pursue a body lock takedown. Another double leg takedown is rebuffed from Muniz, and he turns around and pulls guard to set up a guillotine choke. Muniz wrenches with every muscle in his body and even arches his back to try to finish it, but Fabinski grits it out and pops his head free. Muniz does not let him off the hook, and throws his legs up to lock up a triangle choke. While his legs are around the head, Muniz also twists to counter the movement of his opponent and latches on to an armbar. With his elbow hyperextending fast, Fabinski taps instantly and is in obvious pain when Smith stops the fight. Wow! What a turn of events!

The Official Result

Andre Muniz def. Bartosz Fabinski R1 2:42 via Submission (Armbar)

Thiago Moises (155.5) vs. Jalin Turner (155)

Round 1

The bout was canceled Saturday afternoon after Moises tested positive for COVID-19. The news was first reported by Combate's Ana Hissa.

Michel Pereira (170.5) vs. Zelim Imadaev (171)

Round 1

In what could be a wild welterweight clash for as long as it lasts, the high-flying Pereira (23-11, 2 NC; 1-2 UFC) squares off with Russian knockout artist Imadaev (8-2, 0-2 UFC). Pereira breakdances when Joe Martinez calls his name. Hanging on tight will be referee Chris Tognoni, and these two wild men have no interest in touching gloves and would rather get down to it. Pereira kicks to the body and leads forward with a few jabs, coming out oddly measured compared to past performances. Imadaev reaches with a left hand, and Pereira ducks it and goes after one of his own. Pereira stings him with a lunging overhand right, and backs off. Imadaev jumps forward with a left hand, and he backs off when Pereira leaps in the air with a knee. There is a tense staring match between these two strikers, and most are throwing single strikes like one jabbing kick to the body from the Brazilian. Pereira paws out with a jab and a low kick, and reaches with a left straight to the body. Imadaev reaches out with his fingers outstretched, and as Imadaev comes at him, Pereira knees him in the face. Imadaev sticks his tongue out at him as he wobbles backwards, and Pereira winds up with a right hand that staggers him. Pereira races across the cage and leaps off the fence with a Showtime kick as he slaps off Imadaev’s guard. Pereira puts his hands behind his back to signal that Imadaev should come at him, but the Russian does not oblige. Pereira lands with a few punches on the chin, and Imadaev cannot respond. Pereira winds up with a huge right hand rings off Imadaev’s head, sending the Russian falling down. Imadaev gets back up just in time to take a spinning back kick to the midsection, and a left to the body is followed by a right to the head that again staggers Pereira. “Demolidor” lands a leg kick and he takes ones back, and jumps off the fence to land a Showtime punch. Imadaev has no answer for it as Pereira dances around, and fakes to connect with a final right hand as the round ends. The two men come together at the horn, and they are jawing at each other as Tognoni separates them.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Pereira
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Pereira
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Pereira

Round 2

The two are quick to engage again, as Pereira walks him down and lands a hard right. Imadaev counters with a stiff right of his own, and he backs off the Brazilian. “Demolidor” is ready to come back at him, and lands inside and outside kicks to the leg before slapping Imadaev in the face with his foot. Pereira goads him on like Neo beckoning Agent Smith in “The Matrix,” and Imadaev does not fall for it and waits for Pereira to stop taunting him to strike. He kicks Pereira in the body, but the Brazilian jumps back at him to attack. Pereira plants the ball of his foot to Imadaev’s torso, and stays out of range while sticking him with a left hand. Pereira avoids a power strike, lands a right hand, and dives in with a rolling thunder kick. Imadaev brushes it off and rushes in to attack, but Pereira regains his composure and protects himself. Pereira continues to taunt his man as he evades counters, and starts slapping Imadaev in the face. Slaps, not punches. Imadaev is irritated and crashes in to initiate a clinch, so Pereira greets him with a knee in the breadbasket to force a separation. Imadaev almost catches him with an uppercut, but the Brazilian is narrowly able to get out of harm’s way. Pereira rips the body with a left hand, and Imadaev responds with a piston-like jab. Pereira leaps in the air and glances a knee off Imadaev’s gloves, lands, and waves Imadaev on. Imadaev does not come towards him, so Pereira blasts him in the face with a right hand and staggers the Russian. Pereira does not fall into a trap and stays patient to kick him in the legs a few times. Landing a left hand, Pereira tries to get him a few more but decides to target the body to end the round. The two throw at each other right to the bell, as Tognoni once more separates the two.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Pereira
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Pereira
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Pereira

Round 3

Imadaev lets loose with a leg kick that spins him around, and Pereira backs away and jabs three times to make Imadaev retreat. Pereira lands to the leg and gets off a front kick that snaps Imadaev’s head back. Imadaev tries to make him pay with a right hand, and “Demolidor” ducks it and slings back at him. Pereira springs off the cage with a Superman punch and hurts Imadaev, and kicks him to the body and lands a swarm of strikes as Imadaev is holding on. Pereira jogs around and kicks him in the leg while avoiding lunging punches. Pereira opens his hands again and slaps Imadaev in the head, and those slaps are likely more impactful than much of what Imadaev has landed in the fight. Imadaev is stalking him down but unable to cut him off, and walks into strikes. Imadaev glances a right hand off the shoulder, and Pereira tries to return fire but is not quite accurate either. Pereira double jabs and follows it with a right hook that falls short, but a body kick does not. Pereira kicks the body with both legs, and attacks the leg as well while Imadaev stands in front of him like an angry heavy bag. Pereira plays around and dances, and at the end of his jig, he cracks Imadaev with a right hand. Imadaev wobbles but keeps his balance, and Pereira comes at him with a few more strikes but does not go after a finish. Pereira winds up with a right hand that clanks off the Russian’s head, and Imadaev kicks him in the face while retreating – Pereira eats it like a sandwich and tells Imadaev to keep hitting him. A significant strike in the form of a slap connects flush on the cheek, and Imadaev is bewildered and chases after him. Imadaev tries to go for a spinning kick, and Pereira lifts him high in the air in a suplex and slams him down. “Demolidor” immediately secures a rear-naked choke as soon as Imadaev hits the ground without even getting the hooks in, and as the blood pours out of Imadaev's face, Tognoni stops the fight believing he saw a tapout. Imadaev promptly protests the stoppage, claiming he was trying to fight the hands. On replays, it looked questionable and may have been more of a mercy stoppage than a physical surrender.

The Official Result

Michel Pereira def. Zelim Imadaev R3 4:39 via Technical Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)

Ovince St. Preux (205.5) vs. Alonzo Menifield (204)

Round 1

Kicking up to 205 pounds for the recently rescheduled co-main event, former light heavyweight title challenger and one-off heavyweight St. Preux (24-14, 12-9 UFC) comes to blows with the knockout-minded Menifield (9-1, 2-1 UFC). With a touch of gloves between the two, referee Jason Herzog checks in the contest and it’s on with the show! Menifield races forward with punches and shoots in for a low takedown, but “OSP” shrugs it off and gets Menifield to back off. Menifield lands a hard right hand, and “OSP” responds with a slapping low kick as he plods forward. St. Preux connects with a piercing jab, and Menifield rushes in at him to land some bombs but bounces off the side of his opponent. Menifield crashes in to pursue a body lock, and after stalling out, he backs away. “OSP” lets him have it with a thudding body kick, and he backs away when Menifield tries to counter him. St. Preux winds up with a right hand that nearly makes him topple over, and Menifield slams a right hand into his man’s guard. St. Preux lands a long left hand and backs Menifield away, but “Atomic” comes back at him hard. “OSP” kicks to the body a few more times to halt an advancing Menifield, and he scoots back to let a leg kick ricochet off his shin. A long jab finds its home for St. Preux, and he gets off another body kick as Menifield struggles to find his range. Menifield connects with a right hand that buckles St. Preux’s knees, but he keeps his composure and throws back in the form of some kicks. Menifield lands another left hand, and blocks a sweeping body kick. St. Preux swats him in the face but takes a few power punches as the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 St. Preux
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 St. Preux
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 St. Preux

Round 2

Menifield opens the round with a big right hand, and “OSP” backs away before getting a kick up. St. Preux nearly falls over with a looping right hand, and Menifield does not take advantage of it but avoids the zooming strike. Menifield lands a low kick and may have hurt his foot as he stumbles backwards, and “OSP” stands before him and slowly walks him down. St. Preux chips away at him with kicks low and high, and Menifield is once more finding himself backing himself away and circling on the cage wall. St. Preux stings him with two more kicks to the body, and he does not stop throwing them. “OSP” ducks away from a punch and lands a kick that may have glanced off the cup, but the action does not pause as Herzog checks on the fighters. “OSP” scores with a right hand, and he has slowed to landing single power strikes while Menifield swings and misses. Menifield loads up with all he has with a booming right hand, and “OSP” is stumbled and possibly hurt as he falls into the fence. Menifield charges at him after St. Preux gets his bearings, and a short check left hook out of nowhere puts Menifield’s lights out. Menifield crumbles face-first to the ground, and “OSP” stands still to admire his work, knowing there is nothing more he needs to do in the cage tonight. Wakanda Forever.

The Official Result

Ovince St. Preux def. Alonzo Menifield R2 4:07 via KO (Punch)

Alistair Overeem (252.5) vs. Augusto Sakai (261.5)

Round 1

We have reached the marquee matchup in the form of a heavyweight slugfest between two guys that like to knock other big men out. Longtime vet, former title challenger and top-tier kickboxer Overeem (46-18, 1 NC; 11-7 UFC) will take on the surging once-beaten Sakai (15-1-1, 4-0 UFC), as the latter attempts to become the first fighter from Dana White’s Contender Series to win in a headlining bout. The referee for this intriguing pairing between two finishers who combine for 52 stoppage victories is Herb Dean, and he may need to be careful not to get struck with an errant blow here. The two heavy hitters touch gloves, and Overeem starts with a few long jabs to find his range. Sakai does the same, and almost the first minute elapses before either land a strike. The first comes from Overeem, who darts forward to reaching and land with a few punches. Sakai shrugs them off and kicks the kickboxer in the leg, and swings with a right hand that Overeem sees coming and ducks. Again, Overeem crashes in and tries to get off a few punches, but Sakai catches him standing still and lands flush. He scores a few punches and Overeem turtles up, so Sakai pours it on with knees and even standing hammerfists while “The Demolition Man” defends himself. Sakai ties him up and puts his hands atop the cage, and Dean warns him. Sakai pushes off to land a right hand, and as Overeem knees him, Sakai pushes off. Sakai lands a few strikes as they separate, and Overeem gets off a kick to the knee. Sakai kicks the leg again, and Overeem ducks down to blast the Brazilian with an overhand right. Sakai stumbles backwards and smiles at him, but he gathers his thoughts as the smile leaves his face. Sakai misses with a one-two, and has a right hand blocked. He follows with an uppercut, and Overeem eats it like a sandwich and tries to sling a right hand back at him. Overeem kicks the leg again and he takes an uppercut, a few punches, and another standing tomahawk chop. Sakai backpedals before Overeem can return fire, and the Dutchman walks after him and kicks him in the groin. The action only pauses for a moment before we resume, and Sakai glances a single right hand off the top before the horn concludes the first round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Sakai
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Sakai
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Sakai

Round 2

The two big men touch gloves to open the second frame, and Overeem hacks at the lead leg to start things off. Sakai switches stances, and they both land front kicks at the same time. Sakai tries to unload a right hand, and Overeem backs off and slips against the fence. Sakai catches him as Overeem recovers, and lands a few punches before pushing Overeem away. “The Demolition Man” recovers quickly and walks forward to rip a knee up the middle. One of Sakai’s punches has caused a hematoma to form on the side of Overeem’s head, and Sakai kicks at that spot only to get blocked. Overeem blitzes in with a single knee, and as he clinches up, he delivers one more. Overeem blocks a kick and throws back a right hand, but Sakai bullies him to the fence and starts unloading heavy punches to the body and head. Overeem blocks some of them, but others land with resounding thuds. Overeem circles around and sneaks in a knee in the clinch, only to get one more off before Sakai turns him back to the fence. Sakai gets away with a fence grab, and Overeem punishes him with a knee to the face. The two continue to jockey for position against the fence, and Overeem pulls back to land a short right. Sakai pulls him tight and gets off a few knees, and Overeem steps back again to crack him with a left hand. Sakai does not like this, so he delivers a pair of pounding elbows on Overeem’s face, and the Dutchman breaks the clinch to back away. Sakai kicks the lead leg, and we can see a cut has formed on the left eye of the Brazilian. When the 10-second clapper sounds, Sakai rushes in to attack, but Overeem clinches him up and knees him in the torso on the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Overeem
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Sakai
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Sakai

Round 3

Once more they greet with a glove touch, and Sakai starts off racing forward with a few lunging punches that all miss. Overeem kicks the leg and wings a right hand, and as he kicks the leg of the Brazilian, he stumbles backwards. Sakai steps forward to land a right hand, and they both connect at the same time. Sakai kicks him in the body, and Overeem responds in kind. Sakai steps in with a few punches and a low kick, and Overeem defends the strikes up top but not the ones low. Overeem charges forward and eats a sneaky short uppercut as he tries to clinch, and they break. Overeem unloads with a huge right hook, but he misses wildly and Sakai takes advantage of this by putting together a solid combination. Sakai lands hard with several strikes, and Overeem turtles up against the fence again to defend himself from some – but not all – of the strikes. Overeem breaks away, only to step forward with a jumping switch kick to the body. When Sakai kicks him to the leg, Overeem kicks to the body again and may have landed to the cup. Overeem offers an apology glove touch, but Sakai is not concerned. Sakai once more grabs the top of the cage, and Dean warns him repeatedly to keep his hands inside the building. Overeem lands a trip takedown, and he lands on top postured up to get off some punches. Overeem is in guard with one of Sakai’s knees pushing to his chest, and the Brazilian kicks him off and boots him in the face with an upkick. Overeem wades back into the guard as Sakai pushes him off with his kicks, until Overeem grabs both of his ankles and dives back down again. Sakai frames him off, but Overeem slides down with an elbow. Sakai gets off a few hammerfists, but one from Overeem finds its home on Sakai’s chin. A few more strikes appear to have busted Sakai open badly, and the round ends with Sakai on his back.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Overeem
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Overeem
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Overeem

Round 4

Between rounds, the cuts on Sakai’s face have closed up, but Overeem goes right back to them. Sakai throws a few labored punches that Overeem blocks, and Overeem gives him back a slapping leg kick. Sakai rumbles forward with a stream of punches, and Overeem blocks them all and waits for Sakai to finish before throwing back. Sakai whiffs with a right hand and a front kick, but he pushes Overeem to the cage with a few more punches. Overeem nearly falls over with the force of his right hook, and Sakai wades in and gets off some shots ending with an elbow. Sakai walks away, and Overeem kicks him in the midsection. Overeem walks forward and get slashed open with an elbow on his forehead, and the blood is flowing into his eyes. Sakai steps back, so Overeem winds up with a spinning back kick, but he plants it on Sakai’s cup to force Dean to stop the clock. Sakai gets his wind back and sees the blood flowing on Overeem’s face, but Overeem jump kicks him to the body. Sakai complains it also went low, but Dean does not see it so he tells them to fight on. Overeem clinches up with him and tosses Sakai down with an unorthodox single, where he lands in the guard after Sakai tries to frame him away with his guard. Overeem drops down an elbow and two hard right hands. He puts both of his hands on Sakai’s mouth to hamper the breathing, and throws the lightest of chops to Sakai’s forehead. The Brazilian kicks him off, but Overeem swarms him with a few heavy punches and an elbow that make Sakai roll to his stomach in pain. Sakai is on his knees, “The Demolition Man” lords over him with several powerful strikes as he leaps into half guard with a steady diet of elbows. Overeem pours on the elbows and Dean calls on Sakai to work, so Overeem gives him a few more. The horn blares to save a bloodied and battered Sakai, who falls flat to his back for a few seconds but gets to his feet to drag himself to his corner.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Overeem
Tristen Critchfield scores the round: 10-9 Overeem
Tyler Treese scores the round: 10-9 Overeem

Round 5

Within seconds, Overeem claps hands, presses in with a takedown and drags Sakai down. “The Demolition Man” starts demolishing Sakai with brutal elbows, and Dean is already calling Sakai to fight back. Overeem pounds on him with a few more punches and elbows, and Dean has seen enough while observing that Sakai’s arm is trapped while the Brazilian was taking methodical yet brutal punishment. This was a solid comeback for Overeem, who in the process becomes the first fighter to ever finish the durable Sakai. With the finish, this seven-fight card is over early, and we will see you next week with an event that has already been rearranged by the coronavirus.

The Official Result

Alistair Overeem def. Augusto Sakai R5 0:26 via TKO (Elbows and Punches)
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