Yoshihiro Akiyama Moving to Welterweight, Hopes to Fight at UFC in Japan


Yoshihiro Akiyama

Yoshihiro Akiyama

Yoshihiro Akiyama will finally be making the move to welterweight following his loss at UFC 133 to Vitor Belfort.

The move has long been suggested because of Akiyama’s size, being one of the smaller middleweights in the UFC, and now the former Dream and K-1 fighter will be dropping down to 170lbs.

Akiyama made the announcement when speaking to Japanese site Sponchi.

Three straight losses put Akiyama in a tough position, and even UFC President Dana White admitted he wasn’t sure what his future would be following his latest loss.

“This one was a lot different than his other losses,” White said after Akiyama was knocked out by Belfort in the first round.

The move for Akiyama might earn the fighter at least one more chance in the Octagon, possibly on the upcoming UFC card set for Japan in February 2012. Akiyama stated he hoped to get a shot to fight on the Japan show, which is currently slated for Saitama Super Arena on Feb 26, 2012.

Akiyama also mentioned in the interview that he would like to take up training with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, to help him prepare for his 170lb debut.

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