Alessio Sakara

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Alessio Sakara
Born (1981-09-02) September 2, 1981 (age 38)
Rome, Italy
Other namesLegionarius
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Weight83.6 kg (184 lb; 13 st 2 lb)
DivisionMiddleweight (2008–2013), (2017–present)
Light Heavyweight (2002–2008), (2014–2017)
Reach183 cm (72.0 in)
Fighting out ofMiami, Florida, United States
TeamAmerican Top Team
Rank     Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Marcus "Conan" Silveira[1]
Years active2002–present
Professional boxing record
By knockout6
By knockout1
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout15
By submission2
By decision4
By knockout6
By submission3
By decision3
By disqualification1
No contests2
Other information
Boxing record from BoxRec
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

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.[2] He began training in boxing at the age of 11. At the age of 18 Sakara began training with Roberto Almeida[3] 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.[4]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Sakara made his professional mixed martial arts debut in 2002, and compiled a record of 13–3 before being signed by the UFC.[2]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

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.[1]

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.[5]

Sakara lost via TKO in the first round to former WEC Middleweight Champion Chris Leben at UFC 82.[5]

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.[1]

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.[6]

Sakara defeated James Irvin via first-round TKO on March 21, 2010 at UFC LIVE: Vera vs. Jones.[7]

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.[8]

Sakara was then scheduled to face Jorge Rivera on August 28, 2010 at UFC 118,[9] but Rivera pulled out of the bout with an injury[10] and was replaced by Gerald Harris.[11] Sakara was then forced off the card with an injury and replaced by Joe Vedepo.[12]

His bout with Rivera had been rescheduled and was expected to take place on November 13, 2010 at UFC 122,[13] but the fight was cancelled, Sakara intended on competing despite experiencing flu-like symptoms, but the bout was terminated due to Sakara vomiting backstage.[14]

Sakara was expected to face Maiquel Falcão on March 3, 2011 at the UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann event.[15] However, Falcão was injured while training and replaced by Rafael Natal.[16] Then in early February, Natal pulled out of the bout due to a knee injury,[17] and was replaced by promotional newcomer Chris Weidman.[18] 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,[19] but Sakara was forced out of the bout after tearing the ACL in his knee while training and was replaced by Costas Philippou.[20]

Sakara faced Brian Stann on April 14, 2012 at UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva.[21] 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.[22]

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.[23]

Sakara was slated to face Tom Watson at UFC Fight Night 30.[24] However, Watson was forced out of the bout with an injury and was replaced by Magnus Cedenblad.[25] Subsequently in early October, Cedenblad was forced out of the Sakara bout with an injury and replaced by newcomer Nico Musoke.[26] Sakara lost the fight by submission due to an armbar in the first round and was released from the promotion shortly after.[27]

Final Fight Championship[edit]

After a nine-month delay, on July 24, 2014, Sakara signed a three-fight deal with the European promotion Final Fight Championship.[28] During the press conference he stated that his UFC career was compromised because he had enormous trouble cutting weight at 84 kg (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.[29] 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.[30]

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.

Bellator MMA[edit]

On November 27, 2015, it was announced that Sakara signed with Bellator MMA.[31]

Sakara made his promotional debut against Brian Rogers at Bellators first event in Sakara's native Italy on April 16, 2016 at Bellator 152.[32] 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.[33] He won via knockout in the first round.

Sakara challenged Rafael Carvalho for the Bellator Middleweight Championship on December 9, 2017 at Bellator 190.[34] He lost via knockout in the first round.

Sakara headlined Bellator 211 against Kent Kauppinen on December 1, 2018.[35] He lost the fight via knockout in the first round.

Sakara faced Canaan Grigsby at Bellator Milan on October 12, 2019.[36] He won the fight via TKO in the first round.

Personal life[edit]

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.[2][37] His surname comes from Saqqara, which was a Roman colony in Egypt.[38]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • 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[edit]

Professional record breakdown
36 matches 21 wins 13 losses
By knockout 15 6
By submission 2 3
By decision 4 3
By disqualification 0 1
No contests 2
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 21–13 (2) Canaan Grigsby TKO (punches) Bellator 230 October 12, 2019 1 0:23 Milan, Italy
Loss 20–13 (2) Kent Kauppinen KO (punch) Bellator 211 December 1, 2018 1 1:10 Genoa, Italy
Win 20–12 (2) Jamie Sloane TKO (punches) Bellator 203 July 14, 2018 1 1:19 Rome, Italy
Loss 19–12 (2) Rafael Carvalho KO (punches and elbow) Bellator 190 December 9, 2017 1 0:45 Florence, Italy For the Bellator Middleweight Championship.
Win 19–11 (2) Joey Beltran TKO (punches) Bellator 168 December 10, 2016 1 1:20 Florence, Italy
Win 18–11 (2) Brian Rogers KO (punches) Bellator 152 April 16, 2016 2 2:29 Torino, Italy
Win 17–11 (2) Dib Akil TKO (punches) Final Fight Championship 19 September 18, 2015 1 1:32 Linz, Austria
NC 16–11 (2) Maciej Browarski NC (arm injury) Final Fight Championship 16 December 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 October 26, 2013 1 3:07 Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Loss 16–10 (1) Patrick Côté DQ (punches to back of head) UFC 154 November 17, 2012 1 1:26 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Loss 16–9 (1) Brian Stann KO (punches) UFC on Fuel TV: Gustafsson vs. Silva April 14, 2012 1 2:26 Stockholm, Sweden
Loss 16–8 (1) Chris Weidman Decision (unanimous) UFC Live: Sanchez vs. Kampmann March 3, 2011 3 5:00 Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Win 16–7 (1) James Irvin TKO (punch) UFC Live: Vera vs. Jones March 21, 2010 1 3:01 Broomfield, Colorado, United States
Win 15–7 (1) Thales Leites Decision (split) UFC 101 August 8, 2009 3 5:00 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Win 14–7 (1) Joe Vedepo KO (head kick) UFC Fight Night: Diaz vs. Neer September 17, 2008 1 1:27 Omaha, Nebraska, United States Knockout of the Night.
Loss 13–7 (1) Chris Leben KO (punches) UFC 82 March 1, 2008 1 3:16 Columbus, Ohio, United States Middleweight debut.
Win 13–6 (1) James Lee TKO (punches) UFC 80 January 19, 2008 1 1:30 Newcastle, England, United Kingdom
Loss 12–6 (1) Houston Alexander TKO (knee and punches) UFC 75 September 8, 2007 1 1:01 London, England, United Kingdom
Win 12–5 (1) Victor Valimaki TKO (punches) UFC 70 April 21, 2007 1 1:44 Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Loss 11–5 (1) Drew McFedries TKO (punches) UFC 65 November 18, 2006 1 4:07 Sacramento, California, United States
Loss 11–4 (1) Dean Lister Submission (triangle choke) UFC 60 May 27, 2006 1 1:20 Los Angeles, California, United States
Win 11–3 (1) Elvis Sinosic Decision (unanimous) UFC 57 February 4, 2006 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
NC 10–3 (1) Ron Faircloth NC (groin strike) UFC 55 October 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 February 19, 2005 3 N/A Milan, Italy
Win 9–3 Tihamer Brunner TKO (punches) Ring Fight November 20, 2004 N/A N/A Bergamo, Italy
Loss 8–3 Assuerio Silva Decision (unanimous) Jungle Fight 3 October 23, 2004 3 5:00 Manaus, Brazil
Win 8–2 Eduardo Maiorino KO (punches) Real Fight 1 July 30, 2004 1 0:30 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Win 7–2 Yeon Jung KO (punches) WXF: X-Impact World Championships 2003 December 3, 2003 1 2:02 Seoul, South Korea
Win 6–2 Rafael Tatu TKO (doctor stoppage) Meca 9: Meca World Vale Tudo 9 August 1, 2003 2 4:18 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Win 5–2 Damien Riccio Decision (unanimous) Martial Arts Day May 11, 2003 2 6:00 Rome, Italy
Win 4–2 David Mortelette TKO (punches) Resa Dei Conti 6 December 20, 2002 1 1:12 Livorno, Italy
Loss 3–2 Roman Zentsov Decision (unanimous) M-1 MFC: Russia vs. the World 4 November 15, 2002 2 5:00 St. Petersburg, Russia
Loss 3–1 Simon Holmes Submission (rear-naked choke) CWFC 1: Armageddon July 27, 2002 1 4:50 London, England Cage Warriors One Tournament Final.
Win 3–0 Adam Woolmer Submission (kimura) CWFC 1: Armageddon July 27, 2002 1 0:21 London, England Cage Warriors One Tournament Semifinal.
Win 2–0 Mastioli Mastioli Submission (armbar) Fight Night June 21, 2002 1 0:20 Pomezia, Italy
Win 1–0 Paolo Di Clementi KO (punches) Fight Night June 21, 2002 1 0:13 Pomezia, Italy

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
9 fights 8 wins 1 loss
By knockout 6 1
By decision 2 0
No. Result Record Opponent Method Round, time Date Location Notes
9 Win 8–1 Czech Republic Tomáš Mrázek PTS 6 May 9, 2009 Italy Rome, Italy
8 Win 7–1 Germany Andreas Guenther KO 5 (6) Mar 14, 2009 Italy Rome, Italy
7 Win 6–1 France Nabil Haciani PTS 6 Dec 26, 2005 Italy Rome, Italy
6 Loss 5–1 France Jean Marc Monrose KO 5 (10) July 8, 2005 Italy Lazio, Italy For the vacant IBF Youth Cruiserweight Championship.
5 Win 5–0 Brazil Fernando Martinez TKO 3 (6) June 2, 2005 Brazil Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
4 Win 4–0 Romania Florin Constandache Ilie TKO 2 (6) May 14, 2005 Italy Rome, Italy
3 Win 3–0 Hungary Imre Gergely TKO 3 (6) April 30, 2005 Italy Rome, Italy
2 Win 2–0 Romania Valentin Marinel KO 3 (6) Mar 19, 2005 Italy Rome, Italy
1 Win 1–0 Brazil Ubiracy Santos Lima TKO 4 (6) Aug 30, 2004 Brazil Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Alessio Sakara". Tapology. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Italian Pride: UFCmania exclusive interview with Alessio Sakara". Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  3. ^ Sakara, Alessio. "Documento senza titolo". Archived from the original on 1 May 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2010.
  4. ^ "Alessio Sakara Bio, Free Videos and More". Archived from the original on March 30, 2009. Retrieved April 17, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Exclusive:Chris Leben to Fight Alessio Sakara". January 28, 2010. Archived from the original on January 29, 2008. Retrieved January 29, 2008.
  6. ^ "TUF 10 Finale: Rousimar Palhares vs Lucio Linhares set for Dec. 5 with Alessio Sakara hurt". September 27, 2009.
  7. ^ "James Irvin returns against Alessio Sakara at "UFC LIVE: Vera vs. Jones"". January 15, 2010. Archived from the original on September 8, 2012.
  8. ^ "Alessio Sakara Withdraws from UFC 116 matchup with Nate Marquardt". Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  9. ^ "Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara targeted for August's UFC 118 in Boston". Archived from the original on 6 May 2010. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  10. ^ "Jorge Rivera pulls out of 118 with a broken arm". July 23, 2010. Archived from the original on July 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "Gerald Harris steps in for injured Jorge Rivera, faces Alessio Sakara at UFC 118". July 23, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-07-25.
  12. ^ "Joe Vedepo replaces Alessio Sakara, faces Gerald Harris at UFC 118". August 5, 2010. Archived from the original on August 17, 2010.
  13. ^ "Jorge Rivera and Alessio Sakara agree to meet at UFC 122 in Germany". August 23, 2010. Archived from the original on August 26, 2010.
  14. ^ "Sakara Sick, UFC 122 Co-Main Cancelled". November 13, 2010.
  15. ^ "Alessio Sakara vs. Maiquel Falcao on tap for UFC on Versus 3 in March". December 9, 2010. Archived from the original on December 13, 2010.
  16. ^ "Rafael "Sapo" Natal Replaces Injured Maiquel Falcao at UFC on Versus 3". January 14, 2011.
  17. ^ "Rafael Natal withdraws from UFC on Versus 3". February 12, 2011.
  18. ^ "Newcomer Weidman likely replaces Natal, meets Sakara at UFC on Versus 3". February 14, 2011. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011.
  19. ^ "Jorge Rivera and Alessio Sakara Finally Meet at UFC 133 in August". April 12, 2011.
  20. ^ "With Alessio Sakara out, Costa Philippou faces Jorge Rivera at 133". MMA Junkie. July 25, 2011. Archived from the original on October 26, 2012.
  21. ^ "Brian Stann vs. Alessio Sakara slated for UFC on FUEL TV 2 in Sweden". January 5, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-01-09.
  22. ^ "Patrick Cote vs. Alessio Sakara added to November's UFC 154 in Montreal". August 31, 2012. Archived from the original on September 1, 2012. Retrieved August 31, 2012.
  23. ^ Pishna, Ken (December 17, 2012). "Patrick Cote vs. Alessio Sakara UFC 158 Rematch Scratched; Sakara Sidelined". mmaweekly.
  24. ^ "Watson Draws Sakara In UFC Manchester Stand Up Battle". August 21, 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-08-21.
  25. ^ "Tom Watson out, Magnus Cedenblad meets Alessio Sakara at UFC Fight Night 30". MMAjunkie. Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  26. ^ Staff (2013-10-10). "Nicholas Musoke meets Alessio Sakara at UFC Fight Night 30 in Manchester". Retrieved 2013-10-10.
  27. ^ "Sotiropoulos, Sexton and Sakara released from the UFC". December 19, 2013.
  28. ^ Fight Site. "Alessio Sakara signes for FFC!".
  29. ^ Fight Site. "Sakara signes for FFC!". Fight Site. Retrieved 25 July 2014.
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Bellator MMA Announces April 16 Event in Italy, Signs UFC Veteran Alessio Sakara".
  32. ^ "Brian Rogers vs Alessio Sakara set for Bellator 152 in Italy". 2016-01-15.
  33. ^ "Joey Beltran vs. Alessio Sakara headlines Bellator 167 in Italy".
  34. ^ Nolan King (June 7, 2017). "Rafael Carvalho Set to Defend Bellator Middleweight Strap in Italy".
  35. ^ Tristen Critchfield (October 9, 2018). "UFC Veteran Alessio Sakara to Headline Bellator MMA's Next Italian Event on Dec. 1".
  36. ^ Alexander K. Lee (July 31, 2019). "Bellator Milan to feature Alessio Sakara vs. Canaan Grigsby".
  37. ^ "Alessio Sakara Takes His Love of Body Art, Italian History Very Seriously". Retrieved 4 August 2015.
  38. ^ Alessio Sakara UFC interview: Fighting for glory

External links[edit]