(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.
In the aftermath of that mess, Rivera got TKO’d by Michael Bisping and Sakara got outpointed by Chris Weidman, so pretty much everybody got screwed in the deal. I’d say it’s time to give up on this one for good.
The UFC began searching for a last-minute replacement opponent for Rivera, and it looks like 7-2 Serra-Longo product Constantinos Philippou has earned the gig. Sakara joins Phil Davis, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Vladimir Matyushenko, and Riki Fukuda in the list of fighters who were scheduled to compete at UFC 133 but dropped out due to injury — not including Rich Franklin, who pulled out of the event when a suitable replacement opponent couldn’t be found for him. And we still have two weeks to go until showtime. Throwing salt over left shoulder…now.