Alistair Overeem displayed his veteran prowess at UFC Vegas 9. During the fight, he took on Augusto Sakai, stayed the course, and found a way to win during tough times. Initially, both men traded shots and clinch work on the feet. Until Overeem realized that he could take Sakai down with relative ease. Eventually, he was able to secure a TKO victory via ground and pound. Now, Sakai has revealed that broken ribs sustained during the fight were the catalyst that led to his defeat.
Augusto Sakai Explains Rib Injury
Once the fourth round started, it was pretty much the beginning of the end for Augusto Sakai. During the broadcast, commentator Daniel Cormier was vocal about how Overeem’s takedown attempts were technically incorrect. However, he was able to get the job done with veteran savvy. In the clinch, Alistair was able to land several devastating knees to the midsection of Augusto. Those knees led to broken ribs, and Sakai spoke about the injury with AG Fights.
“In the second round, I took a knee that dislocated two ribs. When he put me down, he elbowed one more and broke two more. So, I was without four ribs, we can say so. And it really got in the way. I couldn’t defend the takedowns, I couldn’t show my jiu-jitsu, I couldn’t defend myself very well. So, his merits. He certainly used the experience in his favor, but I expected that. What made it difficult – I am not giving any excuse, his merit for the victory – was the pain in my rib. But even so, I endured as far as it went,” said Sakai.
Returning From Injury
The loss is the first time that Saki has tasted defeat in his career since 2017. Even so, Augusto is 15-2 with one draw on his record. After his injuries heal, expect Sakai to be back in heavyweight contention against a ranked opponent upon his return.