UFC Targets Alistair Overeem vs. Augusto Sakai for September 5 Headliner

31 UFC Vancouver Augusto Sakai
Augusto Sakai, UFC Vancouver Official Weigh-In Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Augusto Sakai is on the brink of being a contender at heavyweight and to get there he’ll have to take down the legendary Alistair Overeem in an upcoming UFC headliner.

ESPN’s Marc Raimondi first reported that the bout between Augusto Sakai and Alistair Overeem will headline a UFC Fight Night on September 5 at a location yet to be announced.

Alistair Overeem has become a great litmus test for up-and-coming heavyweights. From shutting down Sergey Pavlovich and Walt Harris, to defeats against Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Curtis Blaydes, Overeem has established himself as one of the toughest gatekeepers in the promotion. The next fighter to try to pass the test will be Augusto Sakai, who is an impressive 4-0 in the Octagon thus far.

Sakai had a stint in Bellator that lasted from 2013 to 2017, going 4-1-1 over that timeframe. A split decision loss (the only one in Sakai’s career) to Cheick Kongo sent Sakai packing and after a TKO on the Contender Series, he was in the UFC. He’s built up a solid list of victims for a fighter who joined the promotion just two years ago. Thus far, he’s defeated Chase Sherman, Andrei Arlovski, Marcin Tybura, and most recently Blagoy Ivanov. Sakai is primarily a striker, with 11 of his 15 career wins coming by knockout.

Overeem might just have the best striking in the history of heavyweight mixed martial arts with a lengthy kickboxing pedigree to go along with his illustrious MMA career. In the UFC, he’s beat the likes of Junior dos Santos, Fabricio Werdum, and Mark Hunt. He came incredibly close to winning the heavyweight belt over Stipe Miocic, but couldn’t quite lock up a guillotine choke before getting stopped. Overeem has knocked out three of his last four opponents.

The location for this UFC Fight Night is not yet determined and no other bouts are linked to the card.