Sakara Sick, UFC 122 Co-Main Cancelled

By Mike Whitman Nov 13, 2010
UFC 122 co-main event competitor Alessio Sakara has withdrawn from his middleweight bout with Jorge Rivera due to illness. Because of Sakara’s last-minute departure from the card, UFC officials have scrapped the bout altogether.

UFC 122 takes place today in Oberhausen, Germany, at the Konig Pilsener Arena. The news of Sakara’s illness and withdrawal from the card was confirmed by UFC officials just hours before the Italian was to step into the Octagon against Rivera. According to an MMAJunkie.com report, Sakara intended on competing despite his flu-like symptoms, but the bout was terminated due to Sakara vomiting backstage.

With the co-main event now off the bill, a preliminary welterweight matchup between Duane Ludwig and Nick Osipczak has been moved to the main card.

Both Sakara and Rivera were sporting three-fight win streaks heading into tonight’s planned matchup. The pair was originally supposed to meet at UFC 118 before an injury forced Rivera out of the matchup.

Sakara made his UFC debut in 2005, fighting to a no contest with Ron Faircloth after “Legionarius” was kicked in the groin and could not continue. After going 3-3 in his next six fights, Sakara made the cut to middleweight, making his 185-pound debut at UFC 82. In a slugfest, Sakara was knocked out in the first round by “The Crippler.” Since that time, the 29-year-old has been on a roll, finishing two of his last three opponents in the first round.

A former competitor on “The Ultimate Fighter 4,” Rivera made his first appearance in the Octagon in 2003, earning a unanimous decision over Canadian David Loiseau at UFC 44. Over his career, “El Conquistador” has fought stiff competition at middleweight, including pound-for-pound great Anderson Silva and former champion Rich Franklin. Rivera’s last trip inside the cage ended in a TKO over fellow “TUF” alum Nate Quarry at UFC Fight Night in March.
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