In the main event of UFC Vegas 9, Alistair Overeem was looking to extend his winning streak to two and continue his last climb up to a title shot.
It was the first time Augusto Sakai was headlining a UFC show and in the lead-up, the consensus was if the fight went late it would be Overeem getting his hand raised. That is exactly what happened as Sakai had success early but the veteran turned to his wrestling and got a fifth-round TKO win.
Now, following the event, here is what I think should be next for Alistair Overeem and Augusto Sakai?
Alistair Overeem is planning on going on one final run for the title and he could very well be a win or two away from the belt. He remains a top-five heavyweight and someone people constantly overlook.
Although Overeem is in the top-five, I believe he will have to fight behind him again. I don’t think he rematches Jairzinho Rozenstruik as Rozenstruik has told me countless times he has no interest in that fight. So, I think if Alexander Volkov beats Walt Harris at UFC 254 that fight makes sense for Overeem. It is another striker for Overeem to fight and if he beats the Russian he could be one win away from the belt.
They are both big names and can easily headline a fight night card in December or early 2021.
Augusto Sakai suffered his first loss inside the Octagon but did hold his own against Overeem early on in the fight.
Although the Brazilian lost, there is no doubt he learned a lot going into the fifth round on how to adjust his pace and gas tank. He did land some solid shots early on but once he started to tire out he just couldn’t get off his back when Overeem took him down.
Now, following the loss, it is likely Sakai won’t fight again until 2021 and a good fight for him is against Alexey Oleynik who is coming off a loss to Derrick Lewis. Sakai is ranked ahead of the Russian but Oleynik would give Sakai a tough test on the ground, but it is also a fight the Brazilian could score a KO win.
What do you think should be next for Alistair Overeem and Augusto Sakai after UFC Vegas 9?