Shaky camera work? Check. Chair awkwardly placed in front of a full-length mirror? Check. Poorly translated subtitles? Check. Odd excuse for why you missed weight/pulled out of a fight/didn’t win? Triple check. Having run down our checklist, we’re confident that Alessio Sakara’s explanation of why he withdrew from his scheduled bout with Jorge Rivera at UFC 122 earlier this month meets all the requirements of a standard postfight mea culpa video. To hear Sakara tell it, it was not the weight cut but rather some bad tuna fish that knocked him out of action just hours before the event. Since he was on an all tuna diet for at least a week before the fight, there aren’t a lot of other possibilities, the fighter says.
One thing is abundantly clear here: Sakara is straight bumming that he had to pull out of this fight. He says UFC 122 was set to be his first co-main event bout, his first UFC fight where a large contingent of Italians could travel up to see him compete and his first fight that was to be broadcast on Sky TV in Europe. So that pretty much sucks for him. Also, dude? All tuna fish diet? Nasty. The only thing we can think of that would be nastier is the resulting tuna-fish-induced rejection of it by your body. But don’t take our word for it, here it is straight from Sakara:
“Between vomiting, fever and sweating, I couldn’t hold down my liquids to gain back my weight (after the cut),” he says. “(The UFC medical staff) hooked up an IV to rehydrate my body, everything was done at the last minute. I want to especially thank the staff at UFC because they saw that I was not 100 percent. They said ‘If you’re not 100 percent, don’t fight. When you’re 100 percent you can (come back) and get the knockout …’
“On Monday when I returned to Rome I was still not 100 percent and still feeling sick. I went to the hospital, where they did an analysis. They think I contracted something from tuna fish. This was the only thing I ate the week before when I left Miami and also the week in Germany. So they think it was a sickness from the fish, which led to a bad stomach virus. The toxin levels are still high and I am still recovering now … Please believe me that I (was) hurt more than you by this … I promise I won’t eat tuna fish anymore. I took a good beating from this.”
Sakara is hoping to return to the Octagon in February or March. He’s keeping himself in shape so he’ll be ready to go at a moment’s notice. Meanwhile, Rivera appears to have moved on to bigger and better things, with an expected contest against Michael Bisping at UFC 127.
“This is just another part of my life,” explains the stoic Legionarius. “If I do not suffer, I will not be content.”