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Former NCAA Champion Jake Rosholt’s UFC debut could come at UFN 17 against Alessio Sakara

A middleweight matchup between former three-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion Jake Rosholt and former Italian professional boxer Alessio Sakara is believed to be in the works for UFC Fight Night 17 on February 7, has learned through multiple sources.

Rosholt’s camp is believed to have agreed to the bout with Sakara expected to follow suit once he receives a formal bout agreement.

If the bout is finalized, the fight will mark Rosholt’s debut in the UFC in light of sibling promotion World Extreme Cagefighting disbanding its middleweight and light heavyweight divisions following its WEC 37 event on December 3.

Rosholt graduated from Oklahoma State University, where he won the 184-pound NCAA title in 2003 and the 197-pound title in 2005 and 2006. Additionally, he was a four-time All-American and a Big 12 conference champion in 2004 while attending OSU.

After making his pro MMA debut in 2007, Rosholt quickly amassed a 4-0 record before signing a multi-fight agreement with the WEC. Making his debut at WEC 36 on Nov. 5, Rosholt improved to 5-0 with a second round TKO over the previously undefeated Nissen Osterneck.

Sakara, a former light heavyweight competitor who currently trains out of American Top Team, is coming off a first round knockout at UFC Fight Night 15 back in September. Facing Joe Vedeop, Sakara finished the one-time Extreme Challenge fighter just 1:27 into the fight following a head kick.

UFN 17 is scheduled to air on Spike TV between 9-11 p.m. ET and will emanate from the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida. Matchups for the show already officially announced include TUF 5 alum Joe Lauzon vs. former UFC lightweight title challenger Hermes Franca; TUF 6 winner Mac Danzig vs. Josh Neer; TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah vs. UFC newcomer Nick Catone, and two-time NCAA All-American Cain Velasquez vs. UFC newcomer Denis “The Menace” Stojnic.

While not yet officially announced by the UFC, was also the first to report that Gleison Tibau and Rich Clementi will be squaring off in a lightweight encounter.

  • dpk says:

    No doubt about this, Rosholt is going to score a takedown, and then ground and pound until a submission opens up. The only way he loses is if he decides to try and test his standup.

  • RUSH says:

    According to the event card on Tibau vs. Clementi is listed now

  • chris says:

    all i can say is i hope sakara is working his ground game and take down defense. clementi vs tibau is gonna be awesom. im gonna go with clementi.

  • Chris says:

    Wow, this is gonna be a great fucking fight night, shit you got

    Lauzon vs Hermes
    Danzig vs Neer
    Cain V vs Stojnic
    Amir vs Catone
    Clementi vs Tibau
    Rosholt vs Sakara
    Rob Emerson vs Kurt Pelligrino

    thats a really good fight night I must say, too bad its not a 3 hour card, cause every single one of them fights are good, too bad all of them wont be shown unless alot of fights end early. But that is a really good fight night I have to say.

  • Robert says:

    This fight is gonna suck and I’m sick and tired of Mac Danzig, Josh Neer, and Joe Lauzon being on televised fight cards.

  • brian says:

    I wonder if Rosholt’s television agreement is still in place on his contract or if they renegotiated after the complaints on his WEC debut.

  • James says:

    ya if rosholt comes out looking to stand up as much as he did in his last fight he may be in some trouble against sakara, although i think he’ll be smart and take him to the ground where he posesses a big advantage…some good match ups on the card…im excited to see amir vs catone, who’s got a nice wrestling resume as well…however, i must side with robert a bit on his opinion. How many times have lauzon, neer, and pellegrino been on this type of card? Give ppl who dont pay to see the ppvs a chance to see some different fighters live and stop treating these guys like a free spike tv card is all they are worth

  • CMT says:

    These are some great match ups. I am anxious to see how Amir has developed. I do have to agree with Robert though, I would like to see some other fighters on free tv.


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