Newcomer Musoke upsets Sakara

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Mike Chiappetta

Mike Chiappetta has documented the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts since 2006 for news organizations including SB Nation, NBCSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, AOL and ESPN. He appears regularly as an analyst on countless television shows and radio programs, including CBS Radio and MMA Beat. Follow him on Twitter.



Fighting in the UFC for the first time, and on short-notice, Nicholas Musoke either could have been overwhelmed by the moment or at ease, unaffected by a reality that didn’t have time to fully sink in.

It seemed it was the latter. Fighting Alessio Sakara at UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz, the Swedish fighter overcame an early spot of trouble and won by armbar submission.


The finish came at 3:07 of the first round.

“I have respect for Alessio’s game,” Musoke said. “Back home when I was younger, I studied him. All that aside, I’m so damn happy to be here.”

The fight began with a flourish, the two holding their ground and trading. Sakara landed first with a hard right that wobbled Musoke. He then scored a takedown but let Musoke up. Moments later, another exchange, but this time, it was Musoke that was getting the better of it, staggering his opponent.

Musoke changed tracks moments later and took down Sakara. After he passed to side control, Sakara managed to find his way back to his feet briefly. The fight hit the mat again with Musoke on the bottom, and as Sakara threw a left hand from the top, Musoke trapped his right, pivoted his hips for the arm bar and went belly down. It appeared that Sakara verbally submitted rather than tapping.

Musoke extended his unbeaten streak to seven straight dating back to 2011. He’s now 11-2-1. He had been fighting on just two weeks notice, having replaced the injured Magnus Cedenblad.

Sakara was fighting for the first time in nearly a year, since his UFC 154 disqualification against Patrick Cote. The loss was his fourth straight as he fell to 15-11 with 1 no contest.

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