Believe it or not, Yoshihiro Akiyama is still gainfully employed by Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Not only that, he's reportedly got yet another fight lined up.
According to MMAFighting.com, "Sexyama" has been paired up with Thiago Alves for a welterweight showdown sometime in July, likely at the UFC 149 event scheduled for July 21 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
It's surprising, to say the least, that Akiyama is still receiving bookings considering the fact that he's lost four consecutive fights inside the Octagon spanning two different weight classes. In fact, had it not been for favorable scoring in his debut, the Japanese judoka would be 0-5 in his UFC career.
Still, he's just 0-1 as a welterweight and lost to a top ranked fighter in Jake Shields back at UFC 144. Obviously, the powers that be feel he's worth keeping around if only for one more shot.
Time to make it count.
Standing in his way is Thiago Alves, who has struggled a great deal to get his career back on track ever since losing to Georges St. Pierre in his lone title shot back at UFC 100 in July 2009.
Since that night, "Pitbull" has gone on an uneven run of fights, piling up just two wins to three losses, the last of which was an embarrassing last minute submission defeat at the hands of Martin Kampmann.
The loss was so bad, in fact, that Alves fired one of his coaches over it. Now, he's back for yet another big fight against a name opponent he can use to reestablish himself in the 170-pound division.
Will he do just that? Stay tuned.
UFC 149 will take place on Sat., July 21, 2012, at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and will feature UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo in the main event of the evening defending his title against an opponent to be announced later.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for further updates to this still-developing fight card.