Promoted from the FanPosts by Kid Nate.
It's out of the frying pan and into the fire for Alessio Sakara as he will face BJJ standout and recent middleweight title contender Thales Leites (14-2, 5-2 UFC) at UFC 101 in August, after his original opponent, submission phenom Rousimar Palhares, dropped out of the fight with a broken leg.
Leites confirmed the bout's agreement today around 2:40pm, Brazilian Time.
"What is most important is getting back to fighting as soon as possible", Leites said exclusively to Intheguard.tv, "I know that I didn't fight well, that things didn't go as I wanted against Anderson Silva, so nothing is better than starting again."
"I only face a guy with Grappling as my main weapon", commented Leites remembering the third fight of his career. The Nova Uniao middleweight completed by saying, "I know that the expectations will be enormous, because now I need to show that I deserve another shot at the title. But this is good, it will give more motivation."
Sakara will certainly have his hands full, as even though Leites is not as aggressive with his submissions as Palhares, he's still a fantastic jiu-jitsu practitioner. Unless his American Top Team trainers can somehow come up with an Anderson Silva-esque game plan for the Italian, Sakara is going to have be aggressive and exploit his striking advantage over Leites as early in the fight as possible.
Leites on the other hand will look to quickly regain his spot in the upper echelon of the middleweight division after his embarrassing performance against the champion in Montreal last month. Sakara is certainly a step up from Drew McFedries and Floyd Sword, but he certainly won't be the toughest challenge Leites has faced in his UFC career.