The UFC has recently inked a deal with Japanese MMA star Yoshihiro Akiyama (12-1). Apparently, he is expected to debut in the octagon some time during the summer of 2009. There is no word on his first opponent but Dana White sure seems pretty exciting with the recent contract.
Snip from UFC President Dana White
“I’m excited to bring Akiyama into the UFC and I can see him making an immediate impact in the middleweight division…besides his great judo and submission game, he’s a finisher, and UFC fans are going to love watching him because he always shows up to fight.”
Akiyama has proven to be one of the best mixed martial artists, dominating skillful opponents in top organizations including DREAM and K-1. The Judo specialist plans to add some competition to the UFC 185-pound division. He’ll be up against a very difficult fighters such as Nate Marquardt, Dan Henderson, Demian Maia, Thales Leites, Patrick Cote and even Anderson Silva who currently holds the UFC middleweight title. We’ll just see how well he performs with UFC contenders.