UFC President Dana White talked openly about wanting Yoshihiro Akiyama to drop down to 170 lbs. after being knocked out by Vitor Belfort at UFC 133. Having lost three fights in a row and being just 1-3 overall in the UFC will send the Japanese Judoka down to the welterweight division. He won’t be getting an easy fight though as he’ll be taking on the former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields at UFC 144.
UFC 144 will take place on February 26th, 2012 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan and having Akiyama on the card should help sell the venue out.
After defeating Alan Belcher at UFC 100, Akiyama (13-2, 2 NC) has dropped three in a row to Chris Leben (submission), Michael Bisping (decision) and Vitor Belfort (KO). Many figured he’d be released after the UFC 133 but the drop down in weight has given him at least one more fight inside the Octagon.
Shields (26-6-1) is also in the midst of a losing streak, after being knocked out by Jake Ellenberger at September’s UFC Fight Night. Dropping back to back fights for the first of his career, Shields needs to bounce back and get back to his grappling bread and butter.
Someone is going to get back in the win column here but the opposite side of the coin will see the loser continue their streak.