By: Mike Thorwart
On April 14th, the UFC returns to TV with UFC On Fuel TV which takes place in Stockholm, Sweden at the Ericsson Globe Arena.
The co-main event features what is surely to be a middleweight war between Alessio Sakara (19-8 MMA, 7-5-1 UFC) and Brian Stann (11-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC).
Sakara, who is 3-1 in his last four UFC showings, has been plagued with injuries over the past couple years. His last fight which was over a year ago was a decision loss to UFC rising star, Chris Weidman. However, prior to that fight with Weidman, Sakara had a year long lay off due to injuries, illness and unfortunately the death of his father.
He (Sakara) finds himself almost in that same spot again has he returns to the Octagon after a year long lay off due to injuries.
I had a chance to speak with the Italian fighter Sakara and he stated that he is “Very excited to fight a guy like Brian Stann.”
Sakara, “Who feels stronger then ever”, expressed that he is 100% for this fight and sounded quite ready for it as well. He has been training in Italy with his coaches since his surgery back in September and when asked how he felt coming into this fight after such a long break Sakara said, “He has no excuse if he loses because he is 100%. However, I am NOT going to lose.”
“Brian Stann is one of the best middleweights in the world” Sakara said, “He is very happy to be fighting a tough guy like Stann and because he is a top 10 middleweight, it’s very good for him.”
The majority of Sakara’s wins have come by either TKO or KO which can be said for Stann as well. I was curious to find out how he plans on dealing with the heavy punching power of Stann and what some say inexperience on that ground as we saw in Stann’s fight against Chael.
“I think this fight will be beautiful for the UFC fans. Right now he is only thinking of Brian Stann and will only think of the future after the fight. Everyone knows that Brian Stann is a striker and I know I’m better then him in Jiu Jitsu. But, I am going to fight my fight.” Sakara added that, “I’m going to strike because people love to see striking. I know that Stann has heavy hands but my technique is better then his.”
The UFC has been in a lot of different parts of the world and according to UFC President Dana White, they want to be everywhere. According to Sakara he truly hopes that one of those stops some day is his native Italy. Sakara mentioned, “It’s his dream to fight in front of the Italian fans. People want the UFC in Italy.”
Sometimes I ask the prediction question and sometimes I don’t. I usually refrain from it as most of the responses I get are that they don’t like to make predictions. But for some reason something came over me and I just had to ask him. Sakara’s response to the prediction of the fight was very quick and simple, “I’m going to knock out Brian Stann.”