Augusto Sakai
Added to Fort Lauderdale card
HeavyweightUFC
March 14, 2019
Sakai (undisclosed) will take on Andrei Arlovski in a heavyweight matchup at UFC Fort Lauderdale on April 27, Alexander K. Lee of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Sakai gets quite the opportunity here, as the 27-year-old Brazilian gets to face a fighter with plenty of name recognition that seems to be fading late in his career. He was dealt a medical suspension after his last UFC debut -- a KO/TKO victory over Chase Sherman -- but appears to have since been cleared. Sakai has won three in a row after exiting Bellator on the heels of a split-decision loss to Cheick Kongo. He picked up a finish on Dana White's Contender Series, and followed it up with that aforementioned stoppage. On the other side of the cage, Arlovski is 40 years old and has lost three in a row. Anything can happen when two heavyweights come out swinging, but look for the younger Sakai to potentially enter as a favorite.
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Receives 180-day medical suspension
HeavyweightUFC
September 25, 2018
Sakai was given a 180-day medical suspension Tuesday, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Sakai defeated his opponent this past weekend by TKO (punches), but he apparently broke his right thumb in the process. He's still waiting on a doctor's decision as to whether or not it needs surgery, which could alter how soon he can get medically cleared. His situation should become clearer relatively soon.
Finds a way in UFC debut Saturday in Sao Paulo
HeavyweightUFC
September 22, 2018
Sakai defeated Chase Sherman via TKO (punches) at 4:03 of Round 3 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
ANALYSIS
147 significant strikes landed later, Sakai had a win in his UFC debut. It was far from a flawless effort. The Brazilian ate more than his fair of shots from Sherman and has gas tank was questionable - although not as bad as his Sherman's. A win is a win, but Sakai isn't going to be a threat moving forward if he fights like he did on Saturday. The former Bellator heavyweight now has 10 knockout wins in his career.
Picks up UFC contract, schedules debut in Sao Paulo
HeavyweightUFC
August 30, 2018
Sakai will take on Chase Sherman in a heavyweight matchup at UFC Sao Paulo on Sept. 22, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Sakai had competed under the Bellator banner from 2014 to 2017, ending his run there with a loss to Chieck Kongo at Bellator 179. Since then, Sakai picked up a first-round TKO against Tiago Cardoso at Imortal FC 7 before making his way to the first episode of the Brazilian version of Dana White's Contender Series. He made the most of his opportunity there, defeating Marcos Conrado Jr. via second-round TKO to earn a UFC contract. The 27-year-old heavyweight will now be fortunate enough to make his official debut in his home country, taking on an opponent in Chase Sherman that is just 2-6 under the UFC banner and coming off back-to-back losses.
Falls victim to Cheick Kongo at Bellator 179
HeavyweightUFC
May 19, 2017
Sakai lost to Cheick Kongo via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 28-29) at Bellator 179 on Friday in London.
ANALYSIS
Sakai needed to do something in this fight to take Kongo out of his comfort zone. However, he could not do it. On the feet, he could not close the distance and land strikes. Sakai managed to spend most of the fight on the feet, but he could not keep Kongo from holding him against the cage. This was by far the toughest test of Sakai's career, and he did not pass. With that being said, there are still heavyweights he can beat in Bellator.
Returns to face Cheick Kongo in Bellator 179
HeavyweightUFC
April 25, 2017
Sakai will face Cheick Kongo in a heavyweight bout at Bellator 179 on May 19 in London, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Sakai maintains a record of 9-0-1 in Bellator but has not fought since May 2016 against Dan Charles. Sakai's wins have come from seven knockouts, but injury and an inconsistent fight schedule have limited his activity in the early part of his career.