A middleweight matchup between former three-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion Jake Rosholt and former Italian professional boxer Alessio Sakara is believed to be in the works for UFC Fight Night 17 on February 7, FiveOuncesOfPain.com has learned through multiple sources.
Rosholt’s camp is believed to have agreed to the bout with Sakara expected to follow suit once he receives a formal bout agreement.
If the bout is finalized, the fight will mark Rosholt’s debut in the UFC in light of sibling promotion World Extreme Cagefighting disbanding its middleweight and light heavyweight divisions following its WEC 37 event on December 3.
Rosholt graduated from Oklahoma State University, where he won the 184-pound NCAA title in 2003 and the 197-pound title in 2005 and 2006. Additionally, he was a four-time All-American and a Big 12 conference champion in 2004 while attending OSU.
After making his pro MMA debut in 2007, Rosholt quickly amassed a 4-0 record before signing a multi-fight agreement with the WEC. Making his debut at WEC 36 on Nov. 5, Rosholt improved to 5-0 with a second round TKO over the previously undefeated Nissen Osterneck.
Sakara, a former light heavyweight competitor who currently trains out of American Top Team, is coming off a first round knockout at UFC Fight Night 15 back in September. Facing Joe Vedeop, Sakara finished the one-time Extreme Challenge fighter just 1:27 into the fight following a head kick.
UFN 17 is scheduled to air on Spike TV between 9-11 p.m. ET and will emanate from the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida. Matchups for the show already officially announced include TUF 5 alum Joe Lauzon vs. former UFC lightweight title challenger Hermes Franca; TUF 6 winner Mac Danzig vs. Josh Neer; TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah vs. UFC newcomer Nick Catone, and two-time NCAA All-American Cain Velasquez vs. UFC newcomer Denis “The Menace” Stojnic.
While not yet officially announced by the UFC, FiveOuncesOfPain.com was also the first to report that Gleison Tibau and Rich Clementi will be squaring off in a lightweight encounter.