firstname.lastname@example.org (Ollie Salt)
UFC heavyweight Augusto Sakai was left with a gruesome cut above his left eye after being knocked out by Alistair Overeem at the weekend.
Sakai, 29, was dealt his first defeat in almost two-and-a-half years against Overeem, who claimed victory in the fifth round of their contest via TKO.
The latter caught him with a number of brutal elbow strikes at UFC Apex, before referee Herb Dean jumped in to stop the contest amid a one-sided ground and pound attack.
And the elbow strikes clearly took their toll on the Brazilian, who was left with a horror gash just above his left eye.
Nevertheless, Overeem heaped praise on his crestfallen opponent after the fight and said: “Augusto is a tough guy, and an up-and-comer. We kind of knew that he’d take the punishment.
“But I was very well prepared but we did it, again, at 40 years of age.”
He added: “I was actually focused on maybe a submission.
“But I kind of saw that the damage was kind of substantial with the ground-and-pound. I was like, ‘Oh well, this is working. Let’s stick with this.’”
Elsewhere, Michel Pereira got the better of Zelim Imadaev with a rear-naked choke submission on the undercard of Overeem and Sakai’s heavyweight battle.
The Brazilian welterweight was in control for the entirety of the contest, producing a series of devastating kicks to the body while also landing a Superman punch in round three.
“I came to give the show I told I was going to give,” Pereira said in his post-fight interview.
He then added: “I want the BMF belt. Jorge Masvidal, be ready. You are next.”
Ovince Saint Preux came out on top in his co-main showdown with Alonzo Menifield, while there were also victories for Andre Muniz, Brian Kelleher, Viviane Araujo and Hunter Azure on the night.