"I have it on good authority that eight or nine days before the bout was due to take place; Alessio Sakara was walking around at 220 pounds. He failed to show for the fighter workouts on the Thursday in Italy. He was walking around the fight hotel looking very gaunt and ghostlike. When you take that much weigh off, that quickly, it does bring on illness sometimes and I do fear this may have happened here with Alessio Sakara. And it doesn't do him any favors with the UFC, I can guarantee you that."
Former light heavyweight Alessio Sakara was forced to withdraw from his 185-pound co-main event bout against Jorge Rivera at UFC 122 on Nov. 13 due to an illness described as having "flu-like" symptoms. As a result, the lightweight bout between Duane Ludwig and Nick Osipczak was promoted to the televised card and "El Conquistador" has been penciled in to face Michael Bisping in the near future. The Sakara camp has been mum on their fighter's health since the trip to Germany, but it's hard to imagine the UFC bringing him back at 185 if he was indeed felled by a bad weight cut.
***UPDATE: Sakara has issued a statement regarding his health and decision to pull out of the Nov. 13 Spike TV event. Hear from "Legionarius" after the jump.
"I again want to apologize to the UFC, to the fans and to Jorge Rivera who was very disappointed not to have had the chance to compete when I was forced out of UFC 122 in Germany last weekend. I had a very difficult weight cut but was very much looking forward to the fight after a good camp. However, I began to feel ill early in the week and this continued until fight day. Several members of the press also came down with stomach flu and, although I was desperate to fight and not let anyone down, the decision was taken when I got to the arena that I was simply too poorly to compete. Although still poorly, I am feeling better physically but I won't feel like myself again until I make this up to the fans in the Octagon."
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for future updates on Sakara's health and his fighting future.