Up and coming Brazilian middleweight Rousimar Palhares will face Italian slugger Alessio Sakara at UFC 99 which is scheduled for June 13th and will be the UFC’s first foray into Germany.
MMAWeekly has been able to confirm the match-up today from sources close to both fighters.
Palhares, who trains with the the Brazilian Top Team, is coming off a resounding victory over Jeremy Horn at UFC 93 in January. Although he was unable to finish the famed Miletich fighter he controlled the pace of the fight and the outcome was never in doubt. Palhares made quite a splash in the UFC when he submitted and retired Ivan Salaverry at UFC 84. He then went on to face Dan Henderson at UFC 88 and lost a unanimous decision but he certainly had nothing to be ashamed of as he was very competitive against the former two division champion.
Sakara who began his career as a boxer in Italy and trains with American Top Team has been somewhat of an enigma throughout his time in the UFC. While he is 4-4-1 during his time in the octagon he has shown flashes of becoming a complete fighter only to take two steps backwards and lose fights in convincing fashion. He recently dropped down to middleweight and in his first fight at 185, he lost by first round TKO to Chris Leben. He then came back and won his next fight via head kick at UFC Fight Night 15 in September of 2008. It is that on again, off again mentality that has hindered him during his time in the UFC.
UFC 99 will feature a catchweight bout at 195 lbs between former Pride FC 205 lb champion Wanderlei Silva and former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin. While Franklin has decided to fight at a more natural 205 lbs, Silva has decided to try his hand at 185 but will first give 195 a try to see how his body reacts to the weight cut.
UFC 99 will also mark the return of former lightweight title challenger Caol Uno as he faces Spencer Fisher. Also featured on the card will be a welterweight tilt between Mike Swick and up and coming Ben Saunders. In a bout where fireworks are sure to be expected “The Irish Hand Grenade” Marcus Davis will battle Britian’s own Dan Hardy.