UFC Fight Night 30 Sneak Peek: Alessio Sakara (-220) vs. Nicholas Musoke (+180)

alessio-sakara One of the main card match-ups at UFC Fight Night 30 that is getting minimal attention is a middleweight bout between UFC veteran Alessio Sakara and promotional newcomer Nicholas Musoke. The current betting line for this match at Several Bookmakers sees Sakara as a -220 betting favorite (bet $220 to win $100) while Musoke is a +180 dog (bet $100 to win $180). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the line at Sakara -220 and Musoke +180, meaning there has been very little betting action on this fight so far. I assume the public is a bit confused about this fight and is just staying away from it altogether, and I can’t blame them for that as it is a strange match-up. Personally, though, I have a strong lean here, and I actually like the underdog Musoke to pull off the upset. Here’s why I think he has a better chance than the odds are giving him. Although Sakara is a talented mixed martial artist with solid striking skills and good BJJ, for some reason he’s just never been able to put it altogether. Sure, we have seen flashes of brilliance from him in the past — for instance, his head kick KO of Joe Vedepo, and his punch to the eye TKO of James Irvin — but he’s just been extremely inconsistent ever since entering the UFC in 2005. In 14 career bouts inside the Octagon, Sakara sports a 6-7, 1 NC record and only one of those wins came over a current UFC fighter (Thales Leites). He was knocked out in four of those losses, by the way. Surprisingly, Sakara is only 32 years old, but he’s definitely on the downside of his career as he’s lost three straight fights. Sure, the loss to current UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman can be overlooked, but getting KOed cold by Brian Stann from inside the guard and then losing via DQ to Patrick Cote were both poor ways to lose. And yes, he was getting the better of Cote before he got DQed, but he showed extremely poor fight IQ there in even letting that happen in the first place and that’s something that I have to take into consideration. As for the UFC newcomer Musoke, from the tape I have watched on him I’ve been fairly impressed. It seems he has some decent takedown ability and his offensive striking and submission game seem to be solid as well. Additionally, he trains with current UFC light heavyweight star Alexander Gustafsson in Sweden which is also a boost. He’s also younger than Sakara, a lot fresher, and from what I’ve seen he has a better chin. So even though Sakara has the better overall pedigree, I do think Musoke will be able to hold his own. The problem with Musoke in this spot — and the reason I’m not going all in on him — is that he’s taking the fight on short notice and he’s moving up a weight class to get his foot in the door at the UFC. Still, Sakara doesn’t strike me as a big middleweight himself, so while the Italian will have a size advantage, it likely won’t be as big as some people think. And that’s why I still think Musoke is worth a small play even given those negative factors I just mentioned. I wouldn’t be surprised if Sakara did come through with the win here and save his UFC career in the process, but I’m fading him big time after his last few poor performances and, at +180, I have to make a play on the dog Musoke to bite.

Written by Adam Martin.

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