With the endless marathon of UFC events until the end of the year, the largest MMA organization in the world returns to hold another event. This time, UFC Vegas 9 arrives with an interesting duel from the top 10 in the heavyweight division as the main showdown.

In the highlight fight of UFC Vegas 9, the experienced Alistair Overeem tries to prove himself against the rising Brazilian Augusto Sakai , who in turn tries to prove his name against one of the greatest of all time in the division.

In the co-main event of the night, the experienced and hard- hitting Ovince St.Preux tries to return to the light heavyweight ranking against compatriot Alonzo Menifield , who targets the top 15 in the battered division of up to 93kg.

Finally, the exotic Brazilian Michel Pereira , the “Demolidor”, returns to the octagon to show that he belongs to the biggest sport stage in the world. Therefore, he faces a complicated challenge against Russian Zelim Imadaev for the middleweight category.

With more than 60 MMA fights on his back, as well as a lot of kickboxing, I can say that Alistair Overeem (46-18 in MMA, 11-7 in the UFC) is one of the most experienced fighters today. The "Demolition Man" had passages in the main events and arrived at the UFC in 2011, but ended up becoming a challenger only in 2016. In a decadent phase, Overeem has been defeating less experienced or veteran opponents, not even winning the main athletes of the division and remaining in a porter position for the top 5, helping to consolidate names like Francis Ngannou, Curtis Blaydes and Jairzinho Rozenstruik over there.

In striking we have a versatile athlete with skills in practically all strokes that can be thought of standing, especially with kicks. The clinch Overeem is devastating, with full emphasis on the knees strong that applies in the body and head of his opponents. The Dutchman also shows good ground play whenever possible, using this trick more and more in his game whenever he gets into trouble. But shouldn't an athlete so competent in the main areas be unanimous in this category? Yes, but he has some problems. Alistair's chin is very sensitive, so much so that he changed his fighting style a lot to try to mitigate this problem. At 4 years old, the conditioning is no longer the same.

One of the main revelations of the Contender Series Brasil, Augusto Sakai (15-1-1 in the UFC, 4-0 in the UFC) was already reasonably well-known due to his stint at Bellator, where he held some less exciting matches and lost to veteran Cheick Kongo . The Curitiba native arrived at the UFC in 2018, but it was the following year that the fighter showed that he came to have good victories over Andrei Arlovski and Marcin Tybura. This year, he defeated tough Blagoi Ivanov in the split decision, now earning his first opportunity to hold a major fight at the market leader at UFC Vegas 9.

Sakai is a fighter from muay thai , aggressive and of interesting movement compared to other heavyweight members. The main blows are low kicks, but Augusto also acts well when cornering the opponent and delivering good strokes of punches. The clinch is also a strong aspect of your game, but should be avoided against the opponent in question. As he is a predictable fighter - he hardly takes the fight to the ground or tries anything different -, there are some doubts about his performance against smarter opponents, not to mention that the Brazilian is not very athletic and does not have an exemplary conditioning.

In the technical dispute Overeem wins, because it has much more variety in striking and also takes advantage in clinch and in the ground fight. However, we know that the Dutchman is very fragile and, even though in his last fight he showed recovering power, he cannot be trusted so much. I imagine that Alistair will bet on the clinch , taking a big advantage over there and winning a knockout.