Dazn is the exclusive streaming partner of Bellator MMA. You can sign up here and live stream 100+ fight nights a year.
When you speak of mixed martial arts in Italy, you speak of Alessio Sakara. “The Legionarius” is set to fight once again in his home country, as he will lock horns with Canaan Grigsby (8-7) in the dark main event of Bellator 230. As always, Sakara (20-13-2NC) is thrilled to fight in front of his supporters.
“I’m really satisfied; I’ve managed to do a 7-week camp in the U.S.,” Sakara said. “As always, I’ve trained at American Top Team, which, by the way, won for the third consecutive time the Gym of the Year award at the MMA-awards. I had the chance to roll and spar with Rafael Carvalho, whom I fight against a couple of years ago, and this made me really happy. He now moved up to 205 pounds; he will fight in Milan too. We had a lot of fun at the gym. I think we improved by learning from each other. I’ve spent my last weeks of camp at American Top Team Italy, as usual, preparing a strategy for my next opponent.”
Sakara’s next opponent, Grigsby, will make his Bellator MMA debut by attempting to break a two-bout losing streak. The 39-year-old is stepping inside the cage two years after his last fight against Evan Nedd. Sakara, though, is taking his next opponent very seriously.
“In this sport you never really know,” the American Top Team-representative added. “On paper, I’m better than him in every aspect of this game. But you saw what happened at Bellator 211. That time, I lost to Kent Kauppinen, who prior was defeated by Jamie Sloane, whom I defeated in Rome just a couple of months before. You never know. When I walk inside the cage, I always look for battle. I’ve never run in front of one of my opponent, and I will never do it.”
Kauppinen managed to silence the whole arena when he sent Sakara to the canvas back in December. In spite of his frustration for losing in from of his fans, “The Legionarius” took a lot home from that fight.
“It hurt me a lot losing in front of my home country fans last year,” Sakara stated. “I had prepared a lot for that bout, but my mind was elsewhere. I was already dreaming of bigger names, and that was my mistake. This time I will be more focused on my opponent and in reading the moment. I’ve learned a lot from that loss, and I’ve found one more motivation to improve myself.”
Sakara will try to bounce back from that defeat, while we will also lead by example to the squad of Italian fighters who will fight at Bellator Milan.
“For the first time, you will see a lot of Italian fighters who improved a lot in the last years,” Sakara concluded. “We want to show to the American people and to the rest of the world that we are a force to deal with. We are here to leave a mark, and not just to make an appearance. You will see me competing for at least four or five more years. I’m focused and I promise you will see the best version of myself.”
Bellator 230 will go down on Oct. 12 at the Allianz-Claud Arena in Milan, Italy. The main event will see former Bellator middleweight champion Rafael Carvalho (16-3) take on Vadim Nemkov (10-2) in a light-heavyweight contest.