This past Saturday in the main event of UFC Vegas 28, Jairzinho Rozenstruik (12-2) took on Augusto Sakai (15-3-1) in the main event. Sakai was looking to bounce back after he suffered his first UFC loss late in 2020.
Augusto Sakai started extremely well when he made his way over to the UFC. Sakai earned himself a shot with the world’s premier MMA organization after he appeared on the Brazilian version of Dana White’s Contender Series.
After getting to the UFC, Sakai started out 4-0 and that included a first round knockout over Marcin Tybura. On the heels of his perfect start, Sakai got a main spot against Alistair Overeem. The winner of that fight was supposed to inch their way closer to UFC title contention.
Sakai had some great moments in that fight and forced Overeem to use his grappling. Ultimately, Overeem got a TKO finish in that fight. Sakai was put right back into a UFC main event last Saturday against Rozenstruik and had the opportunity to bounce right back.
Unfortunately, the fight didn’t go his way. Normally, Sakai is the type of fighter who takes the center of the octagon and pushes the pace. However, it was Rozenstruik who did and at the end of the first round, Rozenstruik connected and put Sakai out at UFC Vegas 28.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 28?
After starting perfect in the UFC, Sakai has now dropped two fights in a row. That said, because of the level of the opponents, he hasn’t dropped much in the rankings. In fact, he stayed put at the ninth position after UFC Vegas 28.
With that, who should Sakai fight next? One fight I really like for Sakai next would be a matchup against Russian prospect Sergei Pavlovich (14-1). Pavlovich hasn’t competed since 2019, but he’s won back-to-back fights and he’s currently ranked 14th.
A matchup between the two would do a lot for the UFC. If Sakai wins, he’s right back on track and can fight another top ten guy. If Pavlovich gets a win over a guy like Sakai in his UFC return, he would instantly become a contender in the top ten.