|Birth||2 September 1981, Rome, Province of Rome, Lazio, Italy|
Alessio Sakara (born September 2, 1981) is an Italian professional mixed martial artist, former professional boxer and Sanshou kickboxer, currently competing in the Light Heavyweight division of Bellator MMA. A professional competitor since 2002, Sakara has also formerly competed for the UFC, Jungle Fight, Cage Warriors, and M-1 Global.
Born in Rome, Sakara began to compete in soccer at the age of five and was talented, playing the midfielder position. He began training in boxing at the age of 11. At the age of 18 Sakara began training with Roberto Almeida
in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, later earning a black belt under former UFC veteran Marcus "Conan" Silveira. Sakara turned to mixed martial arts after competing in amateur boxing matches because he did not think he would be able to support himself with the little money that boxers in Italy receive, and also did not prefer the tactical approach of the sport. Sakara was also attracted to the rising sport of mixed martial arts after his uncle showed him a VHS tape of UFC 5, which featured a bout between future UFC Hall of Famers Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie, when Sakara was 19 years old.
Mixed martial arts career
Sakara made his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2002, and compiled a record of 13-3 before being signed by the UFC.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Sakara made his UFC debut at UFC 55, fighting against Ron Faircloth. The bout was ruled a no contest due to an inside leg kick to Sakara's groin.
Sakara next fought Elvis Sinosic at UFC 57 and won a unanimous decision.
Sakara was submitted in his next bout at UFC 60 by decorated grappling specialist and former King of the Cage Middleweight Champion Dean Lister. Sakara was next expected to face Wilson Gouveia at UFC 65, but the bout was cancelled when Gouveia withdrew.
Sakara lost his second straight fight to Drew McFedries via first-round TKO at UFC 65.
Sakara rebounded from these losses when he fought Victor Valimaki at UFC 70, winning via TKO at 1:44 of the first round.
At UFC 75, Sakara lost for the third time in four fights, losing via first round TKO to Houston Alexander.
Sakara was part of UFC 80 in Newcastle, England, where he won via TKO in the first round against veteran James Lee.
Following his victory over Lee, Sakara announced that he would be moving down to the Middleweight division.
Sakara lost via TKO in the first round to former WEC Middleweight Champion Chris Leben at UFC 82.
At UFC Fight Night 15, Sakara defeated Joe Vedepo via KO in the first round with a head kick, which earning him Knockout of the Night honors. Sakara was then expected to face Jake Rosholt at UFC Fight Night 17 but the bout was cancelled when Sakara had to pull out due to a shoulder injury.
Sakara then defeated former title challenger Thales Leites via split decision at UFC 101.
Sakara was scheduled to face Rousimar Palhares on December 5, 2009 at The Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale, but had to withdraw after suffering an undisclosed injury while training. He was replaced by Lucio Linhares.
Sakara defeated James Irvin via first-round TKO on March 21, 2010 at UFC LIVE: Vera vs. Jones.
Sakara was forced to pull out of his fight with Nate Marquardt on July 3, 2010 at UFC 116 due to the death of his father.
Sakara was then scheduled to face Jorge Rivera on August 28, 2010 at UFC 118, but Rivera pulled out of the bout with an injury and was replaced by Gerald Harris. Sakara was then forced off the card with an injury and replaced by Joe Vedepo.
His bout with Rivera had been rescheduled and was expected to take place on November 13, 2010 at UFC 122, but the fight was cancelled, Sakara intended on competing despite experiencing flu-like symptoms, but the bout was terminated due to Sakara vomiting backstage.
Sakara was expected to face Maiquel Falcão on March 3, 2011 at the UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann event. However, Falcão was injured while training and replaced by Rafael Natal. Then in early February, Natal pulled out of the bout due to a knee injury, and was replaced by promotional newcomer Chris Weidman. Sakara lost a unanimous decision after getting repeatedly taken down and controlled by Weidman's wrestling.
The bout between Sakara and Rivera had been rescheduled again for August 6, 2011 at UFC 133, but Sakara was forced out of the bout after tearing the ACL in his knee while training and was replaced by Costas Philippou.
Sakara faced Brian Stann on April 14, 2012 at UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva. He lost the fight via KO in the first round.
Sakara lost to Patrick Côté due to disqualification on November 17, 2012 at UFC 154 after rocking Côte with elbows, only to get caught up in the moment and land multiple blows to the back of Côté's head.
A rematch was briefly linked with Côté for March 16, 2013 at UFC 158. However, Sakara was forced out of the bout with a kidney illness.
Sakara was slated to face Tom Watson at UFC Fight Night 30. However, Watson was forced out of the bout with an injury and was replaced by Magnus Cedenblad. Subsequently in early October, Cedenblad was forced out of the Sakara bout with an injury and replaced by newcomer Nico Musoke. Sakara lost the fight by submission due to an armbar in the first round and was released from the promotion shortly after.
Final Fight Championship
After a nine-month delay, on July 24, 2014, Sakara signed a three-fight deal with the European promotion Final Fight Championship. During the press conference he stated that his UFC career was compromised because he had enormous trouble cutting weight at 185 pounds and that he will continue his career in the Light Heavyweight division.
Sakara's Final Fight Championship debut took place on December 6, 2014 against Maciej Browarski. The fight was stopped in the first round when Sakara wasn't able to continue after getting injured from tearing his bicep. First Browarski was awarded the victory via TKO (injury), the result was later overturned to a No Contest by the Croatian MMA Federation.
In his next fight, Sakara faced off against Lebanon's Dib Akil. Following the opening seconds of the round, in which Akil threw wild hooks that unsuccessfully landed, Sakara took Akil to the ground and piled up punches until the TKO stoppage.
On November 27, 2015, it was announced that Sakara signed with Bellator MMA.
Sakara made his promotional debut against Brian Rogers at Bellators first event in Sakara's native Italy on April 16, 2016 at Bellator 152. He won via knockout in the second round.
On September 21, 2016, it was announced that Sakara would be facing Joey Beltran in the co-main event of Bellator 168 on December 10, 2016. He won via knockout in the first round.
Sakara is married and has two sons. Recognizable for his many tattoos, Sakara has the words "Senatus Populusque Romanus" on his forearm, a common marking of soldiers of the Roman Empire, as well as several other tattoos that are a tribute to his ethnic background and love of Roman history. His surname comes from Saqqara, which was a Roman colony in Egypt.
Championships and accomplishments
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Knockout of the Night (One time) vs. Joe Vedepo
- Italy Chinese Kung Fu Association
- Italian Heavyweight Pro Sanshou Champion
- World Chinese Kung Fu Association (World Pro Sanshou Championship)
- Silver Medal in Pro Sanshou - Heavyweight Class
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|32 matches||19 wins||11 losses|
|Win||19–11 (2)||Joey Beltran||KO (punches)||Bellator 168||000000002016-12-10-0000December 10, 2016||1||1:20||Florence, Italy|
|Win||18–11 (2)||Brian Rogers||KO (punches)||Bellator 152||000000002016-04-16-0000April 16, 2016||2||2:29||Torino, Italy||Bellator Debut|
|Win||17–10 (2)||Dib Akil||TKO (punches)||Final Fight Championship 19||000000002015-09-18-0000September 18, 2015||1||1:32||Linz, Austria|
|NC||16–11 (2)||Maciej Browarski||NC (arm injury)||Final Fight Championship 16||000000002014-12-06-0000December 6, 2014||1||1:21||Vienna, Austria||Return to Light Heavyweight. Sakara injured his arm.|
|Loss||16–11 (1)||Nico Musoke||Submission (armbar)||UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz||000000002013-10-26-0000October 26, 2013||1||3:07||Manchester, England|
|Loss||16–10 (1)||Patrick Côté||DQ (punches to back of head)||UFC 154||000000002012-11-17-0000November 17, 2012||1||1:26||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Loss||16–9 (1)||Brian Stann||KO (punches)||UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva||000000002012-04-14-0000April 14, 2012||1||2:26||Stockholm, Sweden|
|Loss||16–8 (1)||Chris Weidman||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann||000000002011-03-03-0000March 3, 2011||3||5:00||Louisville, Kentucky, United States|
|Win||16–7 (1)||James Irvin||TKO (punch)||UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones||000000002010-03-21-0000March 21, 2010||1||3:01||Broomfield, Colorado, United States|
|Win||15–7 (1)||Thales Leites||Decision (split)||UFC 101||000000002009-08-08-0000August 8, 2009||3||5:00||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||14–7 (1)||Joe Vedepo||KO (head kick)||UFC Fight Night: Diaz vs. Neer||000000002008-09-17-0000September 17, 2008||1||1:27||Omaha, Nebraska, United States||Knockout of the Night.|
|Loss||13–7 (1)||Chris Leben||KO (punches)||UFC 82||000000002008-03-01-0000March 1, 2008||1||3:16||Columbus, Ohio, United States||Middleweight debut.|
|Win||13–6 (1)||James Lee||TKO (punches)||UFC 80||000000002008-01-19-0000January 19, 2008||1||1:30||Newcastle, England|
|Loss||12–6 (1)||Houston Alexander||TKO (knee and punches)||UFC 75||000000002007-09-08-0000September 8, 2007||1||1:01||London, England|
|Win||12–5 (1)||Victor Valimaki||TKO (punches)||UFC 70||000000002007-04-21-0000April 21, 2007||1||1:44||Manchester, England|
|Loss||11–5 (1)||Drew McFedries||TKO (punches)||UFC 65||000000002006-11-18-0000November 18, 2006||1||4:07||Sacramento, California, United States|
|Loss||11–4 (1)||Dean Lister||Submission (triangle choke)||UFC 60||000000002006-05-27-0000May 27, 2006||1||1:20||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Win||11–3 (1)||Elvis Sinosic||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 57||000000002006-02-04-0000February 4, 2006||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|NC||10–3 (1)||Ron Faircloth||NC (groin strike)||UFC 55||000000002005-10-07-0000October 7, 2005||2||0:10||Uncasville, Connecticut, United States||Sakara kicked in the groin.|
|Win||10–3||Frank Amaugou||Decision (unanimous)||King of the Ring||000000002005-02-19-0000February 19, 2005||3||N/A||Milan, Italy|
|Win||9–3||Tihamer Brunner||TKO (punches)||Ring Fight||000000002004-11-20-0000November 20, 2004||N/A||N/A||Bergamo, Italy|
|Loss||8–3||Assuerio Silva||Decision (unanimous)||Jungle Fight 3||000000002004-10-23-0000October 23, 2004||3||5:00||Manaus, Brazil|
|Win||8–2||Eduardo Maiorino||KO (punches)||Real Fight 1||000000002004-07-30-0000July 30, 2004||1||0:30||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||7–2||Unknown fighter||KO (punches)||WXF: X-Impact World Championships 2003||000000002003-12-03-0000December 3, 2003||1||2:02||Seoul, South Korea|
|Win||6–2||Rafael Tatu||TKO (doctor stoppage)||Meca 9: Meca World Vale Tudo 9||000000002003-08-01-0000August 1, 2003||2||4:18||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Win||5–2||Damien Riccio||Decision (unanimous)||Martial Arts Day||000000002003-05-11-0000May 11, 2003||2||6:00||Rome, Italy|
|Win||4–2||David Mortelette||TKO (punches)||Resa Dei Conti 6||000000002002-12-20-0000December 20, 2002||1||1:12||Livorno, Italy|
|Loss||3–2||Roman Zentsov||Decision (unanimous)||M-1 MFC: Russia vs. the World 4||000000002002-11-15-0000November 15, 2002||2||5:00||St. Petersburg, Russia|
|Loss||3–1||Simon Holmes||Submission (rear-naked choke)||CWFC 1: Armageddon||000000002002-07-27-0000July 27, 2002||1||4:50||London, England||Cage Warriors 1 Tournament Final.|
|Win||3–0||Adam Woolmer||Submission (kimura)||CWFC 1: Armageddon||000000002002-07-27-0000July 27, 2002||1||0:21||London, England||Cage Warriors 1 Tournament Semifinal.|
|Win||2–0||Mastioli Mastioli||Submission (armbar)||Fight Night||000000002002-06-21-0000June 21, 2002||1||0:20||Pomezia, Italy|
|Win||1–0||Paolo Di Clementi||KO (punches)||Fight Night||000000002002-06-21-0000June 21, 2002||1||0:13||Pomezia, Italy|
Professional boxing record
|8 Wins (6 knockouts, 2 decisions), 1 Losses, 0 Draws, 0 No Contests|
|Win||8–1||Tomáš Mrázek||PTS||6||09/05/2009||Rome, Italy|
|Win||7–1||Andreas Guenther||KO||5||14/03/2009||Rome, Italy|
|Win||6–1||Nabil Haciani||PTS||6||26/12/2005||Rome, Italy|
|Loss||5–1||Jean Marc Monrose||KO||5||08/07/2005||Lazio, Italy||For the vacant IBF Youth Cruiserweight Championship.|
|Win||5–0||Fernando Martinez||TKO||3||02/06/2005||Salvador, Bahia, Brazil|
|Win||4–0||Florin Constandache Ilie||TKO||2||14/05/2005||Rome, Italy|
|Win||3–0||Imre Gergely||TKO||3||30/04/2005||Rome, Italy|
|Win||2–0||Valentin Marinel||KO||3||19/03/2005||Rome, Italy|
|Win||1–0||Ubiracy Santos Lima||TKO||4||30/08/2004||Salvador, Bahia, Brazil|