Yoshihiro Akiyama Fighting Jake Shields in Welterweight Debut
By FCF Staff
Yoshihiro Akiyama will have no easy test in his welterweight debut, as today the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced that the Japanese star will fight former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields in his next Octagon appearance.
The bout will be part of the UFC’s upcoming February 26th event in Saitama, Japan.
Akiyama (13-4) has made the decision to drop down from middleweight following three consecutive losses, the latest of which was a first round, knockout defeat at the hands of Vitor Belfort in August. The accomplished judo competitor’s only Octagon win to date took place in July, 2009, when Akiyama was awarded a split decision win over Alan Belcher.
Shields (26-6-1) will be looking to avoid a third consecutive loss, as the decorated fighter is coming off back-to-back defeats to welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and most recently Jake Ellenberger, who stopped Shields in under one minute. The defeats were Shields’ first since 2004 and ended the fighter’s remarkable 15 fight undefeated streak.
The UFC 144 card will be hosted by Saitama’s Super Arena.