Yoshihiro Akiyama to Face Jake Shields at UFC 144 in Japan
Another fight has been added to the UFC 144 event in Japan. Yoshihiro Akiyama will make his welterweight debut against Jake Shields on February 26th 2012 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. This bout will be featured on a card that is headlined by the lightweight championship battle between Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson.
Akiyama will now get the chance to compete for the UFC in his home country of Japan. He has had a bad run of late, with three straight loses to Chris Leben, Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort. It is now essential that 'Sexyama' scores a victory and where better to fight then Japan. I will be very interested to see how this effects the way he trains for the fight and his mentality. He will have the home advantage, and that could be a big factor in this fight. Akiyama's first appearance in the UFC was against Alan Belcher, and is his only win within the organization. Prior to the UFC, Akiyama had great success competing in Japan, so hopefully he can get back onto winning form starting with this fight against Jake Shields
Jake Shields has seen great success as an MMA fighter with a record of 26-6-1 and multiple titles to his name Jake is well respected in the welterweight division. Before losing to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 129, Shields had built up an incredible 15 fight winning streak. He lost the title shot against GSP via unanimous decision and was forced to go back to the drawing board. His most recent fight was against Jake Ellenberger, who defeated Shields via knockout in the first round. Things have not been easy for Jake recently with the loss of his father, Jack Shields, shortly before the Ellenberger fight. Jake is on two straight losses, and now needs to get himself back on track in the division. A victory over Akiyama in Japan would definitely be great for Shields. I can't wait to see what happens.
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