Alessio Sakara blames hype for Maiquel Falcao's hate, welcomes future UFC fight
by John Morgan on Apr 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm ET
UFC middleweight Alessio Sakara (15-8 MMA, 6-5 UFC) was as surprised as anyone to hear that Maiquel Falcao (26-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) found him to be "disrespectful."
After all, the Italian striker believes he's always been as respectful as possible to all of his past and future opponents.
That said, Sakara isn't averse to settling his differences with the Brazilian slugger in the cage. "Legionarius" has Jorge Rivera first, but after that, Falcao is welcome to step up to the plate.
"First and foremost, I would welcome an opportunity to fight Falcao as soon as possible, as I would with anyone else in the UFC's middleweight division," Sakara told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "With that said, as I have always been, I try and show the utmost respect for all fighters. I have never said anything disrespectful about Falcao or any other fighters. It's simply not my style – period."
Sakara's response comes on the heels of Falcao's recent comments to MMAjunkie.com, in which he said he felt Sakara had disrespected him prior to their planned UFC on Versus 3 meeting. A broken hand forced Falcao out of the contest, but an interview Sakara gave prior to the Brazilian's withdrawal left Falcao with a bad taste in his mouth.
Sakara believes his comments were taken a bit out of context and amounted to nothing more than typical pre-fight banter.
"As all journalists know well, the 'hype machine' of websites in all sports commonly pushes quotes or phrases into a direction that the athlete may not have intended when it was originally said," Sakara said. "Understandably so, this is normal for the promotion of fights, and for the sport's athlete's to gain interest from the public for individual bouts or events.
"Websites, newspapers, magazines, etc., all share the intention of 'hyping' fights, as was done when the Falcao bout was originally scheduled."
A former professional boxer, the 29-year-old Sakara has trained with American Top Team since 2008. As a member of one of MMA's premier teams, Sakara insists he has the utmost respect for Falcao and his longtime partners at the legendary Chute Boxe academy.
"My respect for Falcao – and even more so Chute Boxe as a fight camp – is highly regarded," Sakara said. "It's not easy to train with the many strong fighters that team has had on their roster over the years.
"I personally know some trainers from that camp, so I think this is even more bizarre that someone would say something like this about me or feel that he might have been disrespectful."