Issa eyes Sasaki upset

Brazilian star Leandro Issa is hoping to end 2014 off on a good note with a victory over Yuta Sasaki at UFC Barueri.

The former ONE FC star lost his first is 1-1 since switching to UFC, but he has high hopes for his fight in hometown Sao Paulo.

“I have been training very hard at Evolve MMA for this fight and I want to show everyone in my home how much I have improved since I moved to Singapore and started working with all the world champion trainers there."

The Japanese bantamweight is the favourite to defeat Issa, with his 18-1 MMA record, however Issa feels he can surprise his opponent.

He added: "Everyone knows I am a BJJ guy, but I train every day in Muay Thai at Evolve MMA and for two years now I have been training my wrestling with Heath Sims, who will be in my corner in Brazil. I work every day with wrestling coaches from America, Muay Thai and boxing coaches from Thailand, and some very high level BJJ guys from Brazil, so I am improving in every area of my game."

"Now I am very focussed on Sasaki. I had a good training camp at Evolve MMA and my coaches have a good game plan for this fight, but this is a big moment for me and my career and it is very important that I win. After the fight, I can relax and see my family and friends and enjoy Christmas, but first I must defeat Sasaki."