No rest for the weary.
Less than one week after his "Fight of the Night" against Chris Leben on July 3, Yoshihiro Akiyama has been pegged to take on another Ultimate Fighter (TUF) veteran when he faces Michael Bisping in the main event of UFC 120 from the O2 Arena on Oct. 16 in London, England.
Fighter's Only brought word of the pending match-up earlier today.
Akiyama returned to the Octagon after nearly a year on the sidelines, facing off against "The Crippler" at UFC 116 back on July 3 after original opponent, Wanderlei Silva, was forced to bow out of the contest due to injury.
After an exciting and back-and-forth war of attrition, an exhausted "Sexyama" succumbed to Leben's third round triangle choke to bring his UFC record to an even 1-1. It was a performance that won him a $75,000 bonus and the respect of the fans and media alike.
Can he replicate that excitement against Bisping?
"The Count" rebounded from a unanimous decision loss to Wanderlei Silva "Down Under" back on February 20 to outwork the venerable Dan Miller and take all three judge's scorecards at UFC 114 last May.
Bisping is 3-2 in his last five fights with losses to Silva and Dan Henderson. In addition to Miller, the Brit also stopped Denis Kang at UFC 105 and decisioned Chris Leben way back at UFC 89.
Does a big win over an International star like Akiyama put him into title contention? That remains to be seen.
In addition to Bisping, UFC 120 is expected to feature a who's-who of British MMA stars including Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy and John "The Hitman" Hathaway.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for future updates to this still-developing fight card.