Well, it turns out that the third time isn’t the charm — at least not for Alessio Sakara and Jorge Rivera.
In what was the third attempt at making a fight between the two come to fruition, Alessio Sakara was forced from a planned UFC 133 tilt against Rivera with a knee injury.
The two UFC middleweights have been officially set to fight one another on three separate occasions, with each meeting getting cancelled for one reason or another. A UFC 118 bout was called off after Rivera suffered an injury in training and another set for UFC 122 was tanked when Sakara succumbed to illness at the eleventh hour.
A UFC vet since 2005 (on a sidenote, Sakara may have had one of the harshest UFC debuts in history. Look into it.), “Legionarius” holds a record of 15-8 (1), with a promotional mark of 6-5. The 29-year-old Italian was riding a three-fight winning streak until he met Matt Serra protege Chris Weidman in his UFC debut at UFC Live 3: Sanchez vs. Kampmann this past March and dropped a unanimous decision.
Sakara will be replaced against Rivera by Greek fighter Costa Philippou, who was scheduled to face Rafael Natal on the UFC 133 undercard.
UFC 133: Evans vs. Ortiz 2 is scheduled to go down on August 6 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.