Heavyweight Augusto Sakai scored an important win at UFC Vegas 70. Paired up against Don’Tale Mayes, the Brazilian came into the bout on a four-fight losing skid, and was in dire need of a victory in order to stay with the promotion. Once it was all said and done, the 31-year-old was relieved to walk out of the cage with a unanimous decision win and a chance to start over.
In an interview with Ag Fight, Sakai explained just how much pressure he was feeling ahead of the fight and all the sacrifices he had to make during training camp. Now that the 31-year-old has had his hand raised on Saturday, he feels confident the UFC will want to renew his contract—which ended on this latest outing.
“I joked with my team. I told them I could fight at middleweight now because this was a huge load off my back,” Sakai remarked. “I made the changes I needed to make, it was great. I came to the USA, I paid the price for being away from my family and friends, but it was for a bigger cause. There’s no secret. I just trained every day and put myself into a complete discomfort zone. Everyone saw that at the gym and you could see a little bit in the cage,”
“I think the UFC will want to renew it. If they kept me around with four losses, on the last fight of my contract, is because they have given me this second chance. I don’t know how it’s going to be, but I’m pretty relaxed about it getting renewed. All I had to worry about was winning. I did everything right, I got the win. I think the UFC will want to renew with me, but I’m not thinking about it. I know it’s going to happen.”
Before the win, Sakai (15-5-1) was on a four-fight losing skid, with knockout losses to Sergey Spivak, Tai Tuivasa, Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Alistair Overeem. The 31-year-old’s latest win before that took place in May 2020, when he scored a split decision over Blagoy Ivanov.