UFC 144: Does Jake Shields or Yoshihiro Akiyama Need the Victory More?
February 26 marks the return of a highly-anticipated event, as the UFC ventures back to Japan for the first time in more than a decade.
At UFC 144, which takes place at the Saitama Super Arena, lightweight champion Frankie Edgar takes on former WEC titleholder Benson Henderson, while The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 winner Ryan Bader takes on former light-heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson.
Though the aforementioned battles are the ones that will be garnering the most attention that night, a welterweight collision between two world-renowned fighters will be taking place at the same event, as former Strikeforce champion Jake Shields takes on veteran Yoshihiro Akiyama, who will be making his 170-pound debut at the pay-per-view event.
The duo kick off the main card, which proves to be stacked with talent from top to bottom. However, both Shields and Akiyama find themselves in precarious situations as they have both suffered consecutive losses as of late.
Akiyama is riding a career-worst three-fight skid, having been defeated by Chris Leben, Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort—who knocked out the touted Judoka inside of the first round at UFC 133.
Shields is in a two-fight slump of his own, first losing a lackluster decision to welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre before being knocked out by "The Juggernaut" Jake Ellenberger.
In order to remain viable and lively figures in the sport, both men need to take home decisive victories, though only one man will be able to leave the Octagon a winner, moving onward with their career.
Akiyama has consistently been engaged in fan-friendly battles, taking home Fight of the Night honors in his first three outings in the UFC. Despite some of his early career accolades, Akiyama has been largely disappointing since entering the Octagon in 2009.
At 36 years old, Akiyama is likely on his way out the door and is looking for his last hurrah, though against a motivated and determined Shields, that scenario seems unlikely.
The Cesar Gracie black belt was once undefeated in 15 fights, but the submission ace now finds himself at the back of the pack of would-be welterweight contenders. Recently, tragedy struck the Californian as Shields' father and manager, Jack Shields, passed away last August, just weeks before his September tussle with Ellenberger.
With little downtime to grieve the loss of his father, Shields has used mixed marital arts as his outlet to cope and will now look for a win in his next outing for himself and his fallen comrade.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?