- BENNETT BREAKDOWN: SAKARA, VERA, & MORE

February 13, 2006
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by Ryan Bennett – MMAWeekly.com
In this week’s edition of the Bennett Breakdown, more on Alessio Sakara, Brandon Vera as well as the new MMA Organization, the IFL. The weekly column is done by MMAWeekly’s very own Ryan Bennett.

Bennett currently does play by play for MMA’s premiere organizations like K-1, Rumble on the Rock and World Extreme Cagefighting as well as hosts the daily MMA talk show with Frank Trigg at www.mmaweeklyradio.com Monday through Friday at 9am Pacific/12 Noon eastern.

“Alessio Sakara continues to impress in the UFC. He dominated the very likeable Elvis Sinosic at UFC 57. How dominant of a performance was it? One judge scored the fight 29-25, that’s WITH a point taken away from Sakara due to an illegal elbow strike. I don’t remember the last time I saw a judge score a fight 29-25 in MMA. Sakara, the former boxer, was exceptional with strikes and he landed vicious body shots, (something you don’t see much of in MMA) but inexplicably after his superior striking, was content taking the fight to the ground. Nobody could figure out why he took the fight to the ground, until now. Sakara apparently thought he might have fractured his left forearm after landing heavy shots on Sinosic. He felt a vibration in his forearm that felt similiar to when he broke his hand in an earlier fight. So, being concerned with a possible breakage he decided to take Sinosic down. After the fight, he found out that it wasn’t broken but possibly just a muscle injury.

As far as his future goes, Sakara is content to stay at 205. While many people, including yours truly, thinks he would be a much bigger threat at 185, Sakara believes since he fought as a heavyweight in boxing, he is already used to being the much smaller fighter and giving up position to bigger, stronger fighters. Sakara actually embraces being the smaller fighter in the 205 pound division. The bigger boxers had a tough time trying to KO him, so he is confident that the bigger guys in MMA will have trouble as well. Sakara will be giving up plenty of weight to guys like Liddell, Ortiz and Babalu in the future.

Speaking of fighters that should probably go down in weight class, Brandon Vera re-iterated his point of staying in the heavyweight division for now. Vera was the featured guest Sunday Night for our Sunday Night Conversation at MMAWeekly.com and Vera said he looks forward to his next fight as a heavyweight. Vera also said it’s still his goal to acquire two title’s one in the Heavyweight Division and the other in the Light Heavyweight Division. His thought’s on Liddell, “He’s very good and deserves to be champion. If I fought him I would choose to stand with him and go toe to toe with the champ.” When asked again if he would stand with Chuck he said, “Absolutely.”

Vera isn’t afraid to set his goals high obviously. Some people think it’s disrespectful to say he is going after both championship titles, but if you get a chance to know Brandon Vera, he’s just confident in his abilities and is a good guy that fans should respect, not hate which I’ve seen on the forums.

James Irvin will return to the ring on March 17th in the WEC against Ultimate Fighter Season One veteran, Lodune Sincaid. Irvin originally wanted to fight Sincaid at 185, but Lodune wanted the fight at 205. According to Mike Roberts, James Irvin’s manager, Roberts said that Irvin most likely will not go down to 185 as first thought and will stay at 205 when he fights in the future at the UFC.

Irvin contemplated going to 185 because of his close ties to Brandon Vera and knowing that Vera will at some point go down to 205. The UFC however told Irvin they would not be fighting one another, therefore Irvin can stay at 205. One interesting side note about Irvin. In his last fight with Stephan Bonnar, Irvin apparently did not tap out to a Kamura against Stephan Bonnar. Irvin said that he tapped out due to a body triangle choke and he couldn’t breathe…that was why he tapped, not the kamura. I guess we all need to go back and watch it. He said his arm was fine, even though it was being bent like a wet noodle.

In other MMA News, we will be having an upcoming interview with the new fight league, the IFL. Just some quick points about the new league. They will have 3 rounds but the rounds will only be three minutes long. The IFL is putting pressure on ground fighters to get to work immediately instead of taking their time to execute submissions over five minutes like they do in the UFC. The shorter time frame will put a ton of pressure on submission guys to quickly execute their game plans while on the ground, or else they will be forced to stand back up.

One other rule change that the IFL will be instituting is no elbows will be allowed to the face of an opponent. The IFL will allow elbows to the body, however not to the head. There are a few reasons for this. The fighters will be competing every six weeks and due to the severity of cuts to the face, elbows are will not be permitted to the head. We will have more on the IFL with a couple of interviews right here on MMAWeekly.com.

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