UFC Fight Night results and analysis: Michel Pereira dances, fights way to victory


Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier battled earlier this month at UFC 252 in a fight that many felt would determine the greatest MMA heavyweight of all time. Miocic won by unanimous decision to retain the UFC heavyweight title.

Alistair Overeem is also in that heavyweight GOAT conversation. The former Strikeforce and Dream champion has as good a résumé as anyone, with the caveat that he has never been the UFC heavyweight titleholder.

“I’m gonna leave that up to the media and the fans,” Overeem told ESPN when asked where he fits in the conversation of the best heavyweight ever. “I’m just enjoying my career, doing my thing. It’s a difficult discussion, difficult argument — because different times, right? Different eras.”

Overeem’s legendary career continues Saturday against Augusto Sakai in the main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas. Overeem, ranked No. 10 in the world at heavyweight by ESPN, is still on a title path. At 40 years old, he has won three of four and has shown an evolution in his game since moving to Elevation Fight Team in Colorado in 2018.

Overeem (46-18, 1 NC) holds career wins over former UFC champions Fabricio Werdum (twice), Brock Lesnar, Andrei Arlovski, Junior dos Santos, Frank Mir and Vitor Belfort (twice).

Sakai (15-1-1) has put together a nice run in the UFC. He has won six straight, including victories in his first four UFC fights. The Brazil native is coming off a split decision win over Blagoy Ivanov in May. Sakai, 29, has four KO/TKOs in those past six wins and is a promising, up-and-coming heavyweight.

In the co-main event Saturday, Ovince Saint Preux takes on Alonzo Menifield, which could be a passing of the torch in the light heavyweight division. Saint Preux (24-14) has lost four of his past six fights, and Menifield (9-1) — a surging knockout artist — was undefeated up until his last bout with nine finishes in nine pro victories.

Also on the card, unpredictable welterweight Michel Pereira meets Zelim Imadaev and Montana De La Rosa faces Viviane Araujo in a women’s flyweight bout with rankings implications.

Fight in progess:

Men’s bantamweight: Cole Smith (7-1, 1-1 UFC, +185) vs. Hunter Azure (8-1, 1-1 UFC, -222)

Still to come:

Heavyweight: Alistair Overeem (46-18, 11-7 UFC, -155) vs. Augusto Sakai (15-1-1, 4-0 UFC, +135)

Light heavyweight: Ovince Saint Preux (24-14, 12-9 UFC, +110) vs. Alonzo Menifield (9-1, 2-1 UFC, -130)

Welterweight: Michel Pereira (23-11, 1-2 UFC, -115) vs. Zelim Imadaev (8-2, 0-2 UFC, -105)

Men’s featherweight: Brian Kelleher (21-11, 5-4 UFC, -350) vs.Ray Rodriguez (16-6, 0-0 UFC +285)

Women’s flyweight: Montana De La Rosa (11-5, 4-1 UFC, +160) vs. Viviane Araújo (8-2, 2-1 UFC, -179)

Middleweight: Bartosz Fabinski 15-3, 3-1 UFC, -160) vs. Andre Muniz (19-4, 1-0 UFC, +140)

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