Yoshihiro Akiyama will make the drop to 170 pounds for a Feb. 26 bout. | Photo: Taro Irei
UFC officials announced Monday that Akiyama and welterweight contender Jake Shields have verbally agreed to square off in a 170-pound bout at UFC 144. While not formally announced by the promotion, the event is expected to take place Feb. 26 at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and will likely feature a lightweight title bout between champion Frankie Edgar and former WEC titleholder Ben Henderson.
Akiyama, 36, has fallen on hard times since entering the UFC in July 2009 on a 13-fight unbeaten streak.
Since winning his Octagon debut by narrowly outpointing Alan Belcher, “Sexyama” has been submitted by Chris Leben, decisioned by Michael Bisping and, most recently, served a brutal knockout from Vitor Belfort in August. The skid marks the first losing streak of the decorated judoka’s MMA career, his only other defeat coming in 2005 against K-1 legend Jerome Le Banner.
Shields also enters the bout on his first losing streak, having dropped back-to-back bouts in 2011.
The 32-year-old Cesar Gracie pupil won 15 straight bouts between 2005 and 2010, including a split-decision win over Martin Kampmann in Shields’ October 2010 UFC debut. After losing a lopsided, five-round bid to dethrone Georges St. Pierre in April, Shields was knocked out for only the second time in September by heavy-handed contender Jake Ellenberger.view original article >>
The last week of April 2017 marked a loud yet symbolic shift in the future of sports on television. ESPN, the longtime self-proclaimed “Worldwide Leader in Sports,” released some of its best-known an read news >>
DALLAS – The fight game can change in an instant, and for Henry Cejudo, it’s taken just two fights to go from the man some pegged to dethrone flyweight king Demetrious Johnson to a fighter in despera read news >>
The UFC heavyweight championship has been notoriously difficult to hold on to throughout its history, but Stipe Miocic proved up to the task at UFC 211, picking up a first-round TKO win over Junior D read news >>
Former middleweight champ Chris Weidman takes on Kelvin Gastelum in the UFC on FOX 25 main event in New York. read news >>
The UFC Women's Strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk joins Jim and Matt in studio to discuss her most recent title defense against Jessica Andrade and much more. Plus, the guys talk Cyborg's alter read news >>
Demian Maia extended his winning streak to seven consecutive fights on Saturday by defeating Jorge Masvidal by split decision at UFC 211 in Dallas, Texas. read news >>
If you still haven't figured out how to say Joanna Jedrzejczyk's name, it might be time to figure it out. The Polish striker successfully defended her title at UFC 211 with a unanimous-decision win o read news >>
DALLAS – Stipe Miocic avenged a decision loss to Junior Dos Santos, stopping the former champ in the first round to notch his second title defense. Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>
Demian Maia entered UFC 211 with everything on the line. A loss would have crippled his chances at ever getting another UFC title shot, and he was facing a top-tier challenge against Jorge Masvidal a read news >>
DALLAS – A hard left hook from Jessica Andrade raised an enormous lump on Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s forehead in the opening round, which had to have been an encouraging moment for the challenger. Filed un read news >>