On Aug. 6, Jorge Rivera (above) will finally get his date with Alessio Sakara. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Perhaps the third time will be the charm for Alessio Sakara and Jorge Rivera.
The UFC announced Tuesday on its official website that the veteran middleweights have verbally agreed to square off at UFC 133, an event expected to take place Aug. 6 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
Sakara and Rivera were initially supposed to meet at UFC 118, but Sakara was forced to withdraw from the August contest with an injury. The bout was rescheduled for November’s UFC 122, but the Sakara was struck by illness just hours prior to the bout and was again forced to withdraw on the advice of doctors.
Sakara finally made it back into the cage at UFC Live 3 in March, dropping a unanimous decision to decorated wrestler Chris Weidman. Prior to the loss, “Legionarius” had won three consecutive fights dating back to September 2008, including knockouts of Joe Vedepo and James Irvin. A 12-time UFC veteran, the heavy-handed Italian holds nine of his 15 career victories by knockout.
Like his foe, Rivera also comes off a loss. Following a lengthy and bitter build-up highlighted by a series of now-famous YouTube videos, Rivera was knocked out by Michael Bisping at UFC 127 in February. Rivera, too, had won three straight before his most recent defeat, knocking out Rob Kimmons and Nate Quarry along the way. Nearly a 10-year pro, “El Conquistador” holds a UFC record of 7-6.