Augusto Sakai knows his name might not yet be familiar to many mixed martial arts observers, but his credentials suggest he can hang with the sport’s elite. The ninth-ranked heavyweight will get the biggest test of his career to date when he takes on the iconic Alistair Overeem in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai on Saturday. Their clash tops the UFC Fight Night card from the Apex facility in Las Vegas, with the main card slated for 8 p.m. ET. With four consecutive UFC victories, Sakai is tied for the division’s longest winning streak alongside second-ranked Curtis Blaydes and No. 1 contender Francis Ngannou.
Oct 27, 2018; Moncton, Canada; Volkan Oezdemire (red gloves) fights Anthony Smith (blue gloves) during UFC Fight Night at Moncton Events Centre.
He is making his first appearance in a main event, while the sixth-ranked Overeem will do so for the seventh time. Overeem is a -150 favorite (risk $150 to win $100), while Sakai is a +125 underdog in the latest UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai odds from William Hill. In the co-main event, Alonzo Menifield (-135) faces Ovince St. Preux (+115) in a matchup of light heavyweights. Before making any UFC Fight Night picks, make sure you see what SportsLine MMA analyst Kyle Marley has to say, considering the epic run he’s on.
Marley won the first-ever “ToutMaster” UFC betting contest sponsored by MMAOddsBreaker and appears regularly on multiple MMA betting and daily Fantasy shows. He watches every single fight for every single UFC card and does extensive research before each event.
Over the past 19 months, $100 bettors who have followed Marley’s picks are up more than $19,000. The accomplished MMA analyst has been on a rock-solid run in 2020, as he has connected on 17 of his last 21 main-event selections, a stretch that included a streak of five straight underdogs.
At UFC Fight Night last Saturday, he accurately called a dominant performance for Aleksandar Rakic (-270) against Anthony Smith (+230) in the light heavyweight main event. He reasoned that the Austrian’s edge in athleticism and strength would be the difference and was proven correct as the rising contender controlled the action from the opening bell and earned a lopsided decision victory. Anyone who has consistently followed Marley is way up.
Now, with UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai fast approaching, Marley has carefully studied every matchup on the card, identified the best value in the UFC odds and released his MMA picks for every fight. Those selections are only available here.
Overeem vs. Sakai preview
The 40-year-old Overeem (46-18-1) is one of the most accomplished heavyweights in MMA history. He has titles in the Strikeforce and Dream promotions to his credit, but a UFC title is one milestone that has eluded him and he has vowed to fill that void before hanging up his gloves.
The well-liked Dutch fighter had a title shot in September 2016 against Miocic, who made the first of his record three consecutive defenses with a first-round stoppage in his hometown of Cleveland. Overeem had Miocic wobbled early in the fight, but the champion recovered and prevailed in the action-packed bout.
Overeem has looked sharp against a gauntlet of up-and-coming prospects, with a last-second knockout loss against Jairzinho Rozenstruik the lone blemish in his last four fights. He stopped rising contender Walt Harris, who is now ranked No. 10, in their May matchup.
Sakai (15-1-1) has shown power and versatility while moving up the ranks, including a 3-1-1 mark in Bellator. The lone blemish on his professional record came by split decision in Bellator against former UFC veteran Cheick Kongo.
The 29-year-old Brazilian appeared to be a top-tier prospect behind stoppages in two of his first three UFC bouts, but he met adversity in his most recent fight. He emerged with a razor-thin split decision against veteran Blagoy Ivanov, leading many observers to question whether he was ready for the big stage. Sakai can silence some doubters should he defeat Overeem. You can see Marley’s coveted Overeem vs. Sakai picks here.
Top UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai predictions
We’ll share one of Marley’s UFC Fight Night predictions: He is backing Brian Kelleher (-220) to get the best of newcomer Kevin Natividad (+180) in a featherweight battle.
Kelleher (21-11) is a nine-fight UFC veteran who made his debut for the promotion in May 2017. He has faced quality competition and looked like a promising contender at times, but has never won more than two straight while posting a 5-4 mark. The 34-year-old New Yorker dropped a decision in June to Cody Stamann, who rose to No. 12 in the rankings following the victory.
Natividad (9-1) is a short-notice replacement for contender Ricky Simon, who had to withdraw after a member of his team tested positive for COVID-19. Nicknamed “Quicksand,” the 27-year-old Arizona native got the call-up on the strength of four consecutive victories in the Legacy Fighting Alliance. He has five stoppages among his nine professional MMA wins.
“Natividad could win a striking decision if he is in three-round fight shape,” Marley told SportsLine. “But the edge in cardio and on the mat should go to Kelleher, so he is my pick.”
How to make UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai picks
Marley also has strong picks for Overeem vs. Sakai and every other bout on the UFC Fight Night card. He is also backing a surprising underdog who take down a fighter who “doesn’t have the cardio or power to endure three rounds.” Those selections are only available here.
Who wins Overeem vs. Sakai? And how exactly does each fight end? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed picks on every fight at UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Sakai, all from the incomparable expert who’s up over $19,000 on MMA in the past 18 months and nailed 17 of the last 21 main events, and find out.
UFC Fight Night odds (via William Hill)
Alistair Overeem (-150) vs. Augusto Sakai (+125)
Alonzo Menifield (-135) vs. Ovince St. Preux (+115)
Karol Rosa (-145) vs. Sijara Eubanks (+125)
Michel Pereira (-115) vs. Zelim Imadaev (-105)
Thiago Moses (-180) vs. Jalin Turner (+160)
Bartosz Fabinski (-135) vs. Andre Muniz (+115)
Viviane Araujo (-190) vs. Montana De La Rosa (+170)
Alexandr Romanov (-110) vs. Marcos Rogerio De Lima (-110)
Khama Worthy (-125) vs. Ottman Azaitar (+105)
Hunter Azure (-200) vs. Cole Smith (+175)