It appears UFC 133 may have been cursed from the jump. After watching numerous light heavyweights bow out of the Octagon’s return trip to Philadelphia with various injuries, middleweight Jorge Rivera confirmed with The MMA Hour Monday that Alessio Sakara, his scheduled opponent for the August 6th show, has a torn ACL and will be forced out of their shootout.
For those of you at home keeping tabs, this marks the third time Rivera vs. Sakara was scrapped due to injury.
The search is currently underway for a last-minute replacement. Rivera suggested Costantinos Phillippou might get promoted from his preliminary bout against Rafael Natal, but that is pure speculation at this point.
Whichever substitute the UFC is able to locate, it is believed Rivera’s 185-pound contest will remain in the pay-per-view portion of the festivities.
Phil Davis was slated to headline the card opposite Rashad Evans, but the undefeated 205-pounder was abruptly forced out with a knee injury. Shortly after all of that drama unfolded, light heavyweight Vladimir Matyushenko withdrew with a injury of his own.
The injury bug certainly didn’t stop stinging there. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was subsequently wounded, and because there was only 21 days until showtime, opponent Rich Franklin was ultimately shelved for another day.
The Wells Fargo Center in Pennsylvania will host the star-studded event.
Here is the card’s roster as it currently stands:
(Facebook 6PM ET/3PM PT)
Rafael Natal vs. Costantinos Phillippou
Mike Brown vs. Nam Phan
Mike Pierce vs. Johny Hendricks
Nick Pace vs. Ivan Menjivar
(Spike TV 8PM ET/5PM PT)
Rani Yahya vs. Chad Mendes
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Matt Hamill
(Pay-Per-View 9PM ET/6PM PT)
Jorge Rivera vs. TBD
Mike Pyle vs. Rory MacDonald
Brian Ebersole vs. Dennis Hallman
Vitor Belfort vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz