2011 is turning out to be a busy year for Chael Sonnen.
In addition to serving a six-month suspension for failing his UFC 117 drug test, the former middleweight number one contender could begin his two year probation sentence for mortgage fraud stemming from some shady real estate transactions Sonnen was involved with in his home state of Oregon.
Oh, and he'll also be fighting Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128 on March 19 in Newark, NJ, according to Heavy.com.
Sonnen (25-11-1) raised his stock in the UFC's 185-pound weight class by stringing together three straight wins, including a unanimous decision beatdown of Nate Marquardt at UFC 109 in a performace that earned him a shot at division kingpin Anderson Silva.
The trash talking troublemaker was dominant over four and a half rounds, until a late error in judgment allowed "The Spider" to slap on a triangle choke and retain his middleweight title.
Not long afterward, news broke that Sonnen had tested positive for elevated testosterone levels and the rest as they say, is history.
After a split decision win in his UFC debut over Alan Belcher at UFC 100 in JUly 2009, Akiyama has dropped back-to-back contests against Chris Leben and Michael Bisping.
Despite a "Sexy" performance in both outings, the former K-1 star was largely criticized for his conditioning, which may have contriubted to his consecutive defeats.
A loss to Sonnen would make it three in a row, and its hard to imagine a future inside the Octagon for Akiyama if he doesn't start getting the "W."
UFC 128 is expected to feature a main event of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua defending his light heavyweight title against "Suga" Rashad Evans. Urijah Faber is also rumored to appear on the card in his UFC debut against former WEC bantamweight champion Eddie Wineland.
Keep it locked to MMAMania.com for more on this still-developing fight card.