UFC on ESPN+ 34

UFC on ESPN+ 34: Alistair Overeem rebounds to pound out Augusto Sakai

The Demolition Man uses his experience to reign supreme

Alistair Overeem used his experience to overcome rising prospect Augusto Sakai in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 34 Saturday night.

Overeem let Sakai lead through the first three rounds, but then switched gears in the fourth after getting cut by a Sakai elbow. He took Sakai down and unleashed his vaunted ground-and-pound, almost finishing Sakai. In the fifth round, Overeem continued where he left off, taking Sakai down again and forcing referee Herb Dean to call the bout at 26 seconds.

The win protects Overeem’s current No. 6 ranking and push towards a title shot at 40 years old.

COVID-19 reduced the card to just seven bouts.

Overeem, Andre Muniz, Michel Pereira, and Brian Kelleher earned performances of the night and a $50,000 USD bonus apiece.

Kenai Andrews checks in with his thoughts on the card.

COLE SMITH VS. HUNTER AZURE

WINNER: HUNTER AZURE VIA UD (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: COLE SMITH VIA UD

Andrews: Azure used his grappling to keep the fight in his world, and even knocked down Smith. Good win.

BRIAN KELLEHER VS. RAY RODRIGUEZ 

WINNER: BRIAN KELLEHER VIA SUBMISSION (GUILLOTINE CHOKE) R1 0:39

ANDREWS PREDICTION: BRIAN KELLEHER VIA UD

Andrews: Wow! That was a victory Stone Cold Steve Austin could have been proud of.

#8 VIVIANE ARAUJO VS. #11 MONTANA DE LA ROSA

WINNER: VIVIANE ARAUJO VIA UD (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MONTANA DE LA ROSA VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: Araujo kept De La Rosa at bay all night with her striking. She could have used her BJJ too if needed. De La Rosa striking has improved but she couldn’t counter enough and get the fight to the ground.

BARTOSZ FABINSKI  VS. ANDRE MUNIZ

WINNER: ANDRE MUNIZ VIA SUBMISSION (ARM-BAR) R1 2:42

ANDREWS PREDICTION: BARTOSZ FABINSKI VIA UD

Andrews: Muniz is indeed a nice kid, who overcame the grappling of Fabinski slip in the armbar. Good work, kid.

MICHEL PEREIRA VS. ZELIM IMADAEV 

WINNER: MICHEL PEREIRA VIA SUBMISSION (RNC) R3 4:39

ANDREWS PREDICTION: MICHEL PEREIRA VIA UD

Andrews: Pereira did tone down the flamboyance but fortunately it produced a spectacular performance and result.

OVINCE ST. PREUX VS. ALONZO MENIFIELD 

WINNER: OVINCE ST. PREUX VIA KO (PUNCH) R2 4:07

ANDREWS PREDICTION: OVINCE ST. PREUX VIA SUBMISSION

Andrews: OSP returned to form all right. That’s what I’m talking about.

MAIN EVENT

ALISTAIR OVEREEM VS. AUGUSTO SAKAI

WINNER: ALISTAIR OVEREEM VIA TKO (PUNCHES) R5 0:26

ANDREWS PREDICTION: ALISTAIR OVEREEM VIA TKO

Andrews: When you have the experience, you can let your opponent punch themselves out. Good win for The Reem.

The UFC returns to the UFC Apex for UFC on ESPN+ 35. Angela Hill takes on Michelle Waterson in the main event.

@kenaiandrews UFC on ESPN+ 34: Alistair Overeem rebounds to pound out Augusto Sakai

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Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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