This past Saturday at the UFC APEX– February 6th at UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs Volkov – we had one heck of a night that kept me out of my seat. We began the legendary night with a strong preliminary card, followed by the main card extravaganza. And let me tell ya, both cards contained wild finishes! Read along with me to go back and delve into some of the greatest fights of the night – in my opinion – that deserve recognition.
UFC Featherweight: Ode Osbourne vs. Jerome Rivera – Preliminary Card
This preliminary card started off with a jaw dropping first fight. Ode “the Jamaican Sensation” Osbourne stole the show with a beautifully timed KO against Jerome Rivera. The Wisconsin native now sits with a record of 9-3-0, 1NC and is making his way up towards the featherweight division rankings.
The two fighters tapped gloves to start the fight, and kept steady movement to read their opponent. Who do you think threw first? Not Ode. Jerome “the Renegade” Rivera threw first with a high head kick, and with precise timing, Osbourne blocked and countered with a cross – knocking out Rivera with 26 seconds up on the clock in the first round!
Osbourne deserves a lot more respect in the UFC than he already gets. Before his fight with Rivera, he was coming off of a loss against Brian Kelleher – at UFC 246: McGregor vs Cerrone – where he was submitted via guillotine choke with 2 minutes and 49 seconds into the first round. Before that, he held a four-fight win streak consisting of 3 submissions and 1 TKO. So, you could say this weekend’s 26 second first round KO was a redemption of the Kelleher first round finish.
Ode Osbourne entered this fight as a –210
UFC Bantamweight: Cory Sandhagen vs Frankie Edgar – Main Card (Co-Main)
OK. The Co-Main event left me speechless with my jaw dropped as Cory “the Sandman” Sandhagen defeated the legendary Frankie Edgar (23-9-1). If you were not watching this fight live and have yet to see it, then I highly recommend to give it a watch – trust me, it won’t take much of your time.
If I were to put it into words, I would say it was a magnificently executed move by Sandhagen. He had precise timing and his confidence never left sight. He threw a scary flying right knee and dropped Edgar like a stiff log with 28 seconds into round 1. Cory Sandhagen (14-2-0) did not enjoy seeing Edgar get knocked out but he says “Rather him than me”.
I predicted this fight to go the distance, and boy was I so wrong. It was the total opposite. I underestimated the strengths and skills behind the Sandman, and I don’t think I ever will again. Cory Sandhagen entered this fight with UFC odds at –340 and Frankie Edgar at +285 via BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review). I can’t be the only one left speechless from this fight – could this be “best KO of the year”?
UFC Heavyweight: Alistair Overeem vs Alexander Volkov – Main Card (Main Event)
The Main Event consisted of something I think we all knew deep down would happen. Alistair Overeem (47-19-0, 1NC) took on the giant in Alexander Volkov (33-8-0) and was unable to keep the fight in his control.
Volkov was on top of his striking and managed to keep Overeem at bay. Overeem attempted for a takedown but could not follow through, since clearly Volkov knew what his game plan was. Volkov stuck to his superior striking skills – he dazed Overeem a couple times before landing his last one-two fist combo to TKO Overeem with 2 minutes and 6 seconds into the second round.
Alexander Volkov was far superior in this matchup. He managed to land 54 out of his 88 significant strikes, with 81 of those targeting the head. Overeem only managed to land 10 out of his 20 significant strikes. Volkov wore Overeem’s chin down – a chin in which we all knew could have been trouble – and added another KO to Overeem’s losses (15 T/KO’s). This fight proved to us two things: Overeem has a weak chin and Volkov has fists of steel.
Closing Remarks and What’s Next?
This event was yet another remarkable night of fights. We had many growing fighters prove their strength and worth towards the UFC. 2021 has started off on fire with the events and matchups put together, and just wait until you see what’s next on the cards!
Next week on Saturday, February 13th, we will have another legendary night in UFC 258: Kamaru Usman vs Gilbert Burns. These two friends and teammates were scheduled two times prior to the 13th – first at UFC 251 in July 2020, the second at UFC 256 in December 2020 – but both were scratched due to Burns testing positive for COVID-19 and then Usman needing to recover from injuries. Next week, all us UFC fans are getting another fight we all have been waiting for. Be sure to tune in to SBR’s UFC Picks page for valuable picks and breakdowns for UFC 258, and more.