UFC NEWS – Shields Set To Face Welterweight Newcomer Akiyama In Japan
A welterweight clash of epic proportions has just been confirmed by UFC officials to be going down in Japan in 2012 when Jake Shields returns to action to welcome Yoshihiro Akiyama to the UFC’s welterweight division.
“UFC Japan”, while not yet made official by the promotion, is expected to go down on February 26 live from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan. As of current date, the event is expected to be headlined by a lightweight title fight between champion Frankie Edgar and challenger Benson Henderson.
“Verbal agreements are in for a welterweight matchup in Tokyo, Japan between former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields and Asian superstar ‘Sexyama’ Yoshihiro Akiyama February 26th,” said UFC President Dana White.
Shields was last seen in action in a losing effort to Jake Ellenberger at the UFC’s Fight Night 25 dubbed “Battle on the Bayou”. The loss marked his second straight making his overall UFC record 1-2 with losses to the aforementioned Ellenberger and Georges St. Pierre. Prior to his two defeats Shields was considered the number two welterweight in the world and was riding high on a 15 fight win streak.
Akiyama is one of Japans biggest stars, a certified celebrity in his homeland Akiyama entered the UFC in 2009 after going undefeated in Mixed Martial Arts action for 4 straight years. Upon arrival into the world’s largest MMA promotion he has only been able to put together one win out of four fights and after dropping three straight in the middleweight division will try his luck at 170 pounds.