Augusto Sakai is in dire need of a victory here. The big man is currently on a grim four-fight losing skid, with every loss coming via knockout.
His opponent, Don’Tale Mayes, had his defeat last year overturned to a no-contest when opponent Hamdy Abdelwahab tested positive for methenolone. Before that, Mayes was a two-fight winning streak. He has only fought four times this decade so far.
Prior to his four-fight skid, Sakai was considered a decent prospect in the UFC heavyweight division. If he loses again here, he could be in serious danger of getting cut from the promotion.
Augusto Sakai vs. Don’Tale Mayes Fight Details
Date & Time: Saturday, February 25, 07:50p.m. EST (approx)
Venue: UFC APEX, Enterprise, Nevada
Augusto Sakai vs. Don’Tale Mayes Tale of the Tape
Mayes will enjoy both the height and reach advantage in this clash. Both men tend to employ an orthodox stance in the Octagon.
‘Lord Kong’ has considerably better takedown defense rates at 57% and takedown accuracy at 53% compared to Sakai’s 54% and 33%, respectively. Bar Mayes’ loss to Ciryl Gane, Sakai has fought considerably stiffer competition for the most part since joining the UFC. His losses include grim KOs at the hands of ranked contenders Tai Tuivasa and Sergey Spivak.
Despite his reach advantage, Mayes will likely look for the takedown and some ground-and-pound here. Sakai will need to utilize his vicious punches and knees to keep this one on the feet.
|Don’Tale Mayes||31||6’6″||260lbs||81″||9-4-0 (1NC)|
Augusto Sakai vs. Don’Tale Mayes Betting Odds
|Fighter||Money line||Win by TKO/KO||Win by submission||Win by decision||Draw|
Sakai vs. Mayes Prediction
‘Lord Kong’ is simply not at the same calibre as the foes who’s crushed Sakai in recent memory. However, he will boast a significant size advantage and be colliding with a fighter severely lacking in any momentum at the moment.
When it comes to takedowns, Mayes has been gutsy on the shoot-in in the past. However, Sakai will likely manage to keep this fight upright, relying on his boxing and kicks to keep Mayes from zooming in on the double-leg. If Sakai manages to display his typically vicious mean streak here against a considerably slower fighter than his recent opponents, he may well be able to devastate the opposition with merciless strikes.