Generally speaking, every athletic contest has a winner and a loser. The fight game is no different.
One man is victorious and subsequently reaps the benefits, while the other is forced to head back to the proverbial drawing board in search of new ways to reach their ultimate goals.
At UFC on Versus 1 late last month, that rule didn't exactly come to fruition.
The main card's opening bout featured a promising middleweight tilt between heavy-handed warriors James Irvin and the man pictured above, Alessio Sakara. Though "Legionarious" came away with the TKO victory over "The Sandman," Alessio was unable to enjoy the fruits of his labor.
The fight had an anti-climatic ending after Irvin was forced to stop due to what he believed was an illegal eye poke. Replays correctly showed that it was indeed just a perfectly placed punch to his eye socket.
In speaking with MMAmania.com, Alessio stated that while a win is a win, it's not the way he wanted to get it.
"It's an important victory and another step forward in my career, but obviously I was a little disappointed because, as everybody knows, I'm always looking for a knockout in my fights."
While Alessio was unable to get the dominant finish he was looking for, it was the reaction after the fight that left the Italian striker more perplexed than anything.
Much of the blame, or credit, depending on the point of view, was given to Irvin's struggle to properly cut down to 185 lbs. It was his fight at the weight class, and most likely his last. But it wasn't the weight cut that forced James to stop midway through the first round, and Sakara wants to make sure that everyone is aware of that fact.
"Maybe cutting weight was a little hard for Irvin because it was his first time at 185, but we have to drop the same weight. You think he's the only one who had a hard time because of the scale? The day of the weigh-in, I lost 9 lbs. If you look at my video blog I was struggling to talk! I don't wanna be disrespectful, James Irvin is a nice guy, but in my opinion he seemed slow and stiff as his usual. I just got in the cage with the best strategy."
But regardless of how the fight ended, and to whom the credit for the victory was given, Alessio's win over James marked his third in a row inside the Octagon. So what does "Legionarious" envision as the next step in his MMA career?
"After the third victory in a row I want a little more and I think that a fight with Michael Bisping would be great. I respect him and it would be a war. I think mixed martial arts are so big in England today because of him, and I definitely want to do the same thing in Italy."
Though Bisping is currently expected to face Dan Miller at UFC 114 on May 29 in Las Vegas, Nevada, calling out "The Count" can't hurt Sakara's chances of getting that fight sometime down the road. And as for leading the way in the growth of mixed martial arts in his home country of Italy, if the man keeps winning, that'll be one goal well within his reach.