Picking up the 47th win of his illustrious career, Alistair Overeem’s fourth TKO win in five fights showcased that ‘The Demolition Man’ is still a major player in the heavyweight division.
Throwing heavy elbow strikes once the fight hit the mat, Overeem’s technique and experience was too much for a game Augusto Sakai who suffered his first UFC loss on Saturday night.
With just seven fights on the collective UFC Fight Night 176 bill, here are five fights to make with the big winners of a fun and quick fight card:
Alistair Overeem vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik II
While calling for a rematch less than a year since their first fight is unusual, the lack of movement in the UFC’s heavyweight scene has left little option for either man.
With Stipe Miocic slated for a championship rematch of his own against Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis versus Curtis Blaydes set for November, the two remaining fighters in the top five contenders are Overeem and Jairzinho Rozenstruik.
Perhaps the UFC sees more value in new match-ups but a fight between Overeem and Rozenstruik could help decided a new #1 contender if spaced out correctly.
Ovince Saint Preux vs. Misha Cirkunov
Returning to 205 lbs after an unsuccessful venture to the heavyweight limit, Ovince Saint Preux scored a beautiful left hook KO against Alonzo Menifield.
OSP has always been a tough ask for any of his opponents due to his well-rounded skill set and with Misha Cirkunov looking to build upon a submission win over Jimmy Crute last year, a fight between the two would give the winner some momentum heading up the rankings.
Michel Pereira vs. Mike Perry
Showing off a more subdued performance that still included showtime kicks, flying knees and an open hand slap, Michel Pereira simply outclassed Zelim Imadaev en route to a third-round submission win.
While Pereira’s post-fight call out of Jorge Masvidal was an ambitious one, a much more suitable step-up in competition would be Mike Perry upon his return.
What better than two wild men duking it out doing wild men things?
Brian Kelleher vs. Ricky Simon
After being matched up with his third opponent on short notice, Brian Kelleher’s hectic fight week made no difference to his performance.
Quickly snapping up a guillotine choke on Ray Rodriguez, Brian Kelleher bounced back into the win column with his 22nd career victory.
Going forward, a return to Kelleher’s original opponent in Ricky Simon would provide a fun matchup between two fighters just outside the top 15 at 145 lbs.
Viviane Araujo vs. Alexa Grasso
Operating behind a clean jab and some heavy leg kicks, Viviane Araujo bested Montana de la Rosa on the preliminary card of UFC Fight Night 176 in a competitive three-round affair.
With a dearth of flyweight contenders, Araujo, much like Alexa Grasso last week, could quickly become a challenger for Valentina Shevchenko’s title so why not pair them together and potentially create a new #1 contender.