Yoshihiro Akiyama dropping to 170, hopes to train under Georges St. Pierre

via cdn3.sbnation.com

He's bringing "Sexy" back (yeah).

Yoshihiro Akiyama, who spent the better part of his UFC career floundering at middleweight, has finally decided to abandon the larger competition and compete in a physique-friendly weight class of 170-pounds.

The former K-1 bad boy had long resisted the rigors of cutting weight; however, Vitor Belfort was able to help change his mind back on Aug. 6.

In an interview with Japanese outlet Sponichi (via MMA Fighting), Akiyama (13-4) expressed his desire to relocate to North America and train under reigning welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.

I suppose if you want to learn how to fight at 170-pounds, you might as well learn from the best.

In addition, "Sexyama" is gunning for a 2012 return, when the UFC heads back to Japan for its long-rumored return to the "Land of the Rising Sun."

The promotion has one Japanese show to its credit prior to the Zuffa regime: UFC 15.5 "Ultimate Japan" on Dec. 21, 1997, from the Yokohama Arena featuring Randy Couture, Vitor Belfort, Frank Shamrock and Kazuahi Sakuraba, among others.

The UFC has no shortage of Japanese stars, as well as fighters who made their names in the early days of PRIDE FC, K-1 and Shooto.

Along with ex-middleweight number one contender Yushin Okami, former PRIDE Lightweight Champion Takanori Gomi could be tapped for a 2012 homecoming.

And what Japanese MMA fan wouldn't show up to boo Akiyama?

It could be quite the event, assuming the Triads that allegedly tried to kill Bob Sapp and run PRIDE out of town don't show up and try to pull a Whitey Bulger by strong-arming Dana White.

Stay tuned!

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