UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai – Staff Predictions

Alistair Overeem (left) faces off with for Augusto Sakai (right) ahead of their fight. Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa/UFC

Saturday, UFC heavyweights take center stage in a generational clash, as the legendary Alistair Overeem (48-16) continues his final title push against Brazil’s surging Augusto Sakai (15-1-1).

In the card’s co-main event, a rescheduled bout between light heavyweights Ovince Saint Preux (24-14) and Alonzo Menifield (9-1) will finally take place.

The full card, and the MMA-Prospects’ team’s predictions, are available below:

  • Alistair Overeem (48-16) vs. Augusto Sakai (15-1-1)
  • Ovince Saint Preux (24-14) vs. Alonzo Menifield (9-1)
  • Michel Pereira (23-11) vs. Zelim Imadaev (8-2)
  • Brian Kelleher (21-11) vs. Kevin Natividad (9-1)
  • Thiago Moises (13-4) vs. Jalen Turner (9-5)

Gary Friel, Contributor (2020 Record: Debut)

Augusto Sakai, Alonzo Menifield, Michel Pereira, Thiago Moises, and Brian Kelleher

“Most confident: Pereira,” wrote Friel. “Imadaev’s record has been inflated by really bad matchmaking prior to his UFC stint. I reckon the experience of Pereira will be too much for him.”

Ryan Fortune, Contributor (2020 Record: 6-2)

Alistair Overeem, Alonzo Menifield, Michel Pereira, Thiago Moises, and Brian Kelleher

“Most Confident: Kelleher. Kelleher has the UFC experience, whereas Rodriguez is coming into the fight on short notice,” wrote Fortune. “Kelleher has proven he is able to compete and perform against up-and-coming prospects, and I think he’ll get the job done here.”

Joe McDonagh, Contributor (2020 Record: 5-3)

Alistair Overeem, Alonzo Menifield, Michel Pereira, Thiago Moises, and Brian Kelleher

“Most confident: Pereira: His opponent hasn’t faced any crazily highly touted prospects upon entering the UFC, and since entering the Octagon, he is 0-2,” wrote McDonagh. “Pereira has much more experience going into this fight.”

Vince Rodemer, Contributor (2020 Record: 3-1)

Alistair Overeem, Alonzo Menifield, Michel Pereira, Jalin Turner, and Brian Kelleher

“Most confident in Kelleher. He was preparing for Ricky Simon, who is much better and more well rounded, so the replacement should be a way easier fight,” wrote Rodemer.

Billy Nayden, Contributor (2020 Record: 2-2)

Alistair Overeem, Alonzo Menifield, Michel Pereira, Jalin Turner, and Brian Kelleher

“Most confident: Alonzo Menifield. I think his striking will be too much for OSP who looked slow in his last fight. Also, I think he’s been working on his wrestling defense, which should improve,” wrote Nayden.

Zain Bando, Contributor (2020 Record: 4-4)

Alistair Overeem, Ovince Saint Preux, Michel Pereira, Thiago Moises, Brian Kelleher

“Most confident: Moises,” wrote Bando. “I think Thiago Moises will be the first to submit Jalin Turner. He has a great jiu jitsu base and will set up the takedown to get a late-first, early second-round stoppage.”

Kristen King, Contributor (2020 Record: Debut)

Alistair Overeem, Ovince Saint Preux, Michel Pereira, Jalin Turner, and Brian Kelleher

“Most Confident: Kelleher. Brian Kelleher is the more well-rounded fighter between himself and his short-notice replacement, Ray Rodriguez. While the fight does remain interesting as far as the striking is concerned, I just see Kelleher as the faster, snappier striker with the ground game to match should it reach that point,” wrote King.

Shawn Bitter, Contributor (2020 Record: 5-3)

Alistair Overeem, Alonzo Menifield, Michel Pereira, Jalin Turner, and Brian Kelleher

“Most confident is Pereira. Although Pereira is a wild man, Imadaev doesn’t have the style to neutralize him. Imadaev is defensively flawed and I expect Pereira to finish him early,” wrote Bitter.

Sergio Pineiro, Contributor (2020 Record: 3-1)

Alistair Overeem, Ovince Saint Preux, Michel Pereira, Brian Kelleher, Thiago Moises

“Most confident: Kelleher. Despite a last-minute opponent change, Boom has a ton of experience,” wrote Pineiro. “He impressed me tremendously in the Stamann fight. Rodriguez is a legitimate prospect who I think has a bright future in the UFC, but the UFC level experience that Kelleher has will overwhelm Rodriguez and be enough to earn a comfortable decision win.”

Tom Albano (2020 Record: 3-1)

Alistair Overeem, Ovince Saint Preux, Michel Pereira, Thiago Moises, Brian Kelleher

“Most Confident: Kelleher. Ray Rodriguez is tough. He’s a good finisher, a DWCS alum, ” wrote Albano, “but hours’ notice is tough for a UFC debut. Doesn’t help he’s taking on Kelleher, who has been having a very good 2020 so far with his submission of Ode Osbourne, KO of Hunter Azure, and going the distance with Cody Stamann on short notice. While it’s annoying to have two changes of opponent on fight week, Kelleher has a great skillset, the Octagon experience, and arguably tougher competition on his resume to help him get a nice win tonight.”