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Tag: Alessio Sakara

Brian Stann Hired as Analyst for Future UFC on FOX Events

Props: @BrianStann

If nothing else, at least the commentary will be much better for UFC on FOX 3 than the organization’s previous attempts on the network.

Those of you who tuned in for UFC on FUEL: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger more than likely left impressed by Brian Stann’s commentary throughout the evening. Already known for his ability to produce the most professional responses during interviews at will, Brian Stann seamlessly transitioned to the role of analyst. Stann was very confident while analyzing the fights, handling his first commentary gig like it was just another day at the office. Needless to say, the impressive showing granted him a role as an analyst for future UFC on FOX events.

The UFC’s attempts to give fighters active roles as commentators during UFC on FOX broadcasts have seen mixed results. The organization’s debut on FOX saw Brock Lesnar do a great job in both analyzing the fights and promoting his upcoming bout with Overeem. However, when Lesnar lost that fight and subsequently retired, the UFC could not continue to use him. It attempted to fill the void he left with UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture and Light-Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones.


Booking (Rumor) Roundup: Svedish Edition

(Ain’t that the truth.) 

Yesterday, the UFC announced that its second UFC on FUELTV event was set to transpire in Stockholm, Sweden, prompting fight booking rumors to materialize faster than an Ikea entertainment center. First off, a clash between middleweight strikers Brian Stann and Alessio Sakara is apparently in the works, and promises to be what JR would call, “a good old fashioned slobber knocker.”

After putting together a three fight win streak between 2008 and 2010, “Legionarius” has not fought since dropping a unanimous decision to last minute replacement and fast rising middleweight contender Chris Weidman at UFC Live 3. Sakara was set to face Jorge Rivera on two separate occasions, at UFC 118 and 133, but was forced to pull out from both fights due to some bad fish and a torn ACL, respectively. Stann similarly saw a three fight streak snapped at UFC 136, when he was dominated on the mat by Chael Sonnen en route to a second round arm triangle submission. Given Sakara’s somewhat suspect chin, you gotta imagine this match is Stann’s to lose.

When the UFC first announced the location of this event, there were a couple of names, mainly Alexander Gustafsson and Papy Abedi, that most figured would have to be included on the card. Though “The Mauler” has yet to be given an opponent, Abedi has already been booked to take on James Head. Abedi will be looking to rebound from a first round submission(!) loss to Thiago Alves in his UFC debut back at UFC 138 when he takes on Head, who is also coming off an unsuccessful octagon debut. The Oklahoma native was choked out by Nick Ring in the third round of their UFC 131 battle.


UFC 133: Rivera vs. Sakara — The Pre-Fight Interview Video That Could Have Been…

Look, these two guys are never going to fight, okay? Even Sakara has permanently given up on it. Which makes this video from Ranger Up almost a collector’s item — a memento from a mythical bout that never happened. The RU boys filmed it a few weeks ago, back when it looked like the middleweight slugfest was finally going to come to fruition. No dice. Now all we have is this preview package, in which Alessio and Jorge talk about how much they respect each other. What’s the opposite of “no love lost between these two”? “Lots of love lost”? Because that doesn’t make any damn sense either.


UFC 133 Cursewatch: Alessio Sakara Pulls Out of Jorge Rivera Fight — Again! — Due to Torn ACL

(Shouldn’t have trusted him in the first place, Jorge.)

As first leaked by Mike Chiappetta, UFC middleweight Alessio Sakara has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 133 main card bout against Jorge Rivera due to a torn ACL. If you were just struck by an eerie sense of deja vu, here’s why…

Sakara and Rivera were originally paired up for UFC 118, but Rivera was forced to withdraw due to a broken arm. (Sakara was quickly matched up with replacement opponent Gerald Harris before bowing out himself due a knee injury.) The two fighters were re-scheduled for UFC 122 last November, but Sakara pulled out on the day of the fight after experiencing flu-like symptoms that were either weight-cut related, or tuna-related.


Fight Card for UFC 133 Finalized with Addition of Natal vs. Philippou

Barring something completely crazy and unexpected, the fight card for UFC 133 on August 6 in Philadelphia is set in place. Yesterday, the UFC officially announced the addition of a middleweight clash between Rafael Natal and Constantinos Philippou to the prelims. Rafael Natal is coming off of a majority draw against Jesse Bongfeldt at UFC 124, while Constantinos Philippou lost his UFC debut against Nick Catone at UFC 128.

Even though both middleweights are still searching for their first UFC victories, this bout is likely to appeal to the local fans. Both fighters are veterans of Atlantic City’s Ring of Combat, amassing a combined record of 10-2, with one no contest within the promotion.

UFC 133 will be headlined by a light heavyweight fight between Phil Davis and Rashad Evans. Also set for this card is throwback between Rich Franklin and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, the return of Vitor Belfort against Yoshihiro Akiyama and another attempt at the ill-fated Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara scrap. Not to mention the other seven fights listed after the jump.


‘Do-Over’ Alert: Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara Slated for August

Jorge Rivera Alessio Sakara UFC 122 weigh ins face-off
(Even five months later, Jorge’s tuxedo-shorts still crack me up. And yes, Sakara looks like he’s about to barf up five cans’ worth of Starkist.)

Jorge Rivera will try to wipe away the insult/injury of his ugly and controversial UFC 127 loss to Michael Bisping, when he steps into the Octagon this summer against Alessio Sakara. The UFC confirmed that the matchup would take place at UFC 133 in August, though the event still doesn’t have an official date or venue; says it’ll go down August 6th at the Wells Fargo Center in Philly.

If the Rivera vs. Sakara matchup sounds familiar, pat yourself on the head — the two hard-hitting middleweights were originally slated to get it on last November at UFC 122 in Germany, but Sakara withdrew on the day of the fight, due to bad tuna fish or something. Legionarius returned last month at “Sanchez vs. Kampmann,” where he dropped a unanimous decision to Serra-Longo rookie Chris Weidman, who took the fight on short-notice. We’d call that an upset, but it technically wasn’t. (Great job, bookies.) If you have any suggestions for Rivera’s inevitable video-parodies, please let us know in the comments section.


Rivera’s People Tell Demian Maia to Keep his Filthy Hands Off Michael Bisping

(Hearing that punching him in the face is becoming so popular, Bisping wants to see what all the fuss is about. PicProps: Sherdog)

OK, quick show of hands: Are there any resurgent UFC middleweights out there who don’t want to fight Michael Bisping? C’mon guys, anybody? … Anybody? This is going to be a problem.

Granted, you don’t have to hang around Bisping very long to understand why he’s considered one of MMA’s most-punchable faces, but it still strikes us as odd that the former “TUF” winner has suddenly become the go-to guy for 185-pounders who want to make a name for themselves. In just the last month or so, Alessio Sakara, Jorge Rivera and Demian Maia have all publicly stated their desire to fight Bisping. The Brit is so sought-after in fact that his potential suitors are now arguing amongst themselves about who should get the first chance at him. Case-in-point: After Maia told following last weekend’s win over Kendall Grove that there was talk of a potential bout between himself and Bisping, Rivera’s manager essentially told Maia to step the fuck off on Wednesday.


Alessio Sakara’s ‘Flu-Like Symptoms’ Could Have Been Weight-Cut Related

Jorge Rivera Alessio Sakara UFC 122 weigh-ins
(If you can’t laugh at Jorge’s smiley-face-tie-tuxedo underwear, something’s definitely wrong with you. Photo courtesy of MMA Junkie.)

Alessio Sakara has been conspicuously silent about his health since dropping out of UFC 122′s co-main event. The American Top Team fighter was slated to take on Jorge Rivera, but instead pulled out just hours before the match due to "flu-like symptoms." So what was really going on with him? British MMA journalist Gareth Davies has a theory, which he shared on MMA Live:

"I have it on good authority that 8 or 9 days before bout was due to take place; Alessio Sakara was walking around at 220 pounds. He failed to show for the fighter workouts on the Thursday in Italy. He was walking around the fight hotel looking very gaunt and ghostlike. When you take that much weigh off, that quickly, it does bring on illness sometimes and I do fear this may have happened here with Alessio Sakara. And it doesn’t do him any favors with the UFC, I can guarantee you that."


Jorge Rivera Says He’s Returning in Australia Against Michael Bisping


Following UFC 122, our Euro buddies at caught up with scheduled co-headliner Jorge Rivera to discuss his reaction to Alessio Sakara‘s surprise illness-withdrawal. Rivera’s hands were already wrapped by the time he got the news, and he was "in shock" to learn he wouldn’t be fighting. On the bright side, he already has bigger things lined up. Said Jorge: 

"I’ve got a good fight coming up in Australia, and I’m gonna take a couple weeks off to go home and just relax, because I’ve training hard since about June. My last fight, I had to pull out about July, because I had broken my arm, but I was still training with a broken arm, I wanted to fight. I’ve been training hard now for about five, six months, so I need some time just to relax, man…And then I’m gonna train real, real, real hard. I really want this next fight, man. I not only want the fight, I wanna fuck him up. [Interviewer: Who are you fighting in Australia?] Michael Bisping…that is a scoop I’m giving you right now."


UFC 122 Aftermath: No Really, Take It Easy Out There, Guys

Fuck, that was fucking terrible. Last night we got an up-close-and-personal look at what happens when one of the UFC’s notoriously weak overseas cards doesn’t turn out to be better in practice than on paper. And Nation? It was not pretty. When these haphazard, garage-sale-style European stinkbombs don’t catch lightning in a bottle and don’t exceed our already low expectations, all you’re left with are a bunch of lackluster fights featuring guys nobody cares about. That might be fine for Strikeforce, but frankly we expect more from the UFC.

Oh, did we mention this bad boy was on tape delay? Yeah it was, so unless you were able to spend the day studiously avoiding all electronic media you knew who was going to win anyway, in which case you were probably better served to just stay up late to watch Manny Pacquiao beat up that dude with the Dave Navarro beard. Rumor has it that was pretty shitty too. Coupled with UFCs 119 and 120 it’s hard to remember the last time Our Fearless Leader did three shows this uninspiring in such quick succession. At this point, the supercharged midgets of the WEC can’t get here fast enough. Seriously, it’ll be nice to see a few fights where somebody shows a little urgency.