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Alessio Sakara to Face Newly Signed Chris Weidman at UFC on Versus 3

Blue-chip MMA middleweight prospect Chris Weidman has signed with the UFC and will make his debut against Alessio Sakara at UFC on Versus 3 on March 3, the UFC has confirmed.

The 26-year-old Weidman is 4-0 in his career. A two-time NCAA Division I wrestling All-American, Weidman beat current UFC light-heavyweights Ryan Bader and Phil Davis on the collegiate mats. But he's picked up jiu-jitsu very quickly, qualifying for the esteemed Abu Dhabi Combat Club submission fighting world championships after only eight months of formal training.

Weidman trains with Ray Longo, who helped guide Matt Serra to the UFC welterweight championship. Last August, Longo told MMA Fighting that Weidman was "probably the most talented guy I've ever come across so far."

Weidman tried out for the current season of The Ultimate Fighter, but the UFC ultimately decided to film a season with all welterweights.

The New Yorker will be replacing Rafael "Sapo" Natal, who was forced out to due to injury. It is not the first opponent switch for Sakara, who was originally scheduled to face Maiquel Falcao on the card.

Sakara (15-7, 1 no contest), hasn't fought since last March, when he defeated James Irvin via TKO. The winner of three straight, Sakara has been inactive due to some bad luck. He was scheduled to fight Nate Marquardt at UFC 116 but withdrew after the death of his father, and he also missed scheduled fights with Jorge Rivera at UFC 118 and 122, the former due to a Marquardt injury, the latter due to a Sakara illness on fight night.

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