UFC Fort Lauderdale Results: Augusto Sakai Takes Questionable Decision Over Andrei Arlovski

Augusto Sakai made his UFC debut at UFC Sao Paulo
Augusto Sakai Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Andrei Arlovski may have gotten the better of Augusto Sakai at UFC Fort Lauderdale, but the judges disagreed, giving Sakai the split decision.

Augusto Sakai is a Bellator veteran who’s made the move over to the UFC successfully. The Japanese-Brazilian heavyweight went 4-1-1 in Bellator with three knockouts and the lone loss being a split decision to current title contender Cheick Kongo. After a win outside the promotion, Sakai got a shot at the Contender Series in Brazil last year, winning by second-round knockout and earning a contract to the big show. Sakai was able to win by third-round knockout against Chase Sherman in his promotional debut.

Andrei Arlovski is a former heavyweight champion who is looking to end his struggles in his second UFC stint. After going 10-4 in the Octagon from 2000 to 2008, “Pitbull” fought for a multitude of promotions including WSOF, ONE Championship, Strikeforce, and FNG. Upon returning to the UFC, Arlovski won four straight fights before falling to Stipe Miocic in a number-one contender bout. Since then, Arlovski is 2-6 and winless in his last three fights.

We saw the old version of Andrei Arlovski in the first round of the contest. He was landing solid strikes at will against the slower Sakai. Sakai’s only response was to try to pin Arlovski against the cage to slow his attack, but it was a strong showing by Arlovski in the first round.

Augusto Sakai pressured Arlovski early in the second round with heavy punches along the fence. Sakai continued to press forward and was having more success on the feet in the second round. He landed a big overhand right but ate some jabs from Arlovski. Sakai was able to push Arlovski to the fence several times in the second round.

Arlovski started the third round with a hard strike and a clinch. Sakai was more aggressive this round as he was seemingly behind on the scorecards. There was more clinching in the third round, with both fighters initiating. Sakai was able to rock Arlovski with a straight right but nothing came of it. Sakai was unable to follow up successfully, clinching with Arlovski. They stayed pinned along the fence for a period of time, with Sakai shooting for an unsuccessful takedown. The remainder of the round, aside from the very end was spent with Sakai pinning Arlovski against the fence.

Augusto Sakai def. Andrei Arlovski by Split Decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)