Yoshihiro Akiyama has withdrawn from his fight with Nate Marquardt at UFC 128, after earthquakes ravaged parts of his home country of Japan late this week. Dan Miller, who was set to fight Nick Catone on the event's undercard, has stepped up to fight Marquardt (a fight which takes place immediately after Miler's brother Jim fights Kamal Shalorus in a lightweight bout), a former top contender.
The 8.9 magnitude earthquake, which hit Japan yesterday afternoon, and the subsequent aftershocks and tsunami, have left millions in Japan without power or water, and has been blamed for hundreds of deaths and thousands of disappearances.
The UFC brass, including managing director of international development for the UFC Marshall Zelaznik, took to Twitter to ensure Akiyama that none of his family had been injured in the disaster, but Akiyama withdrew from the bout regardless.
Marquardt (30-10-2, 9-3 UFC) is coming off a loss to top Middleweight contender Yushin Okami in November. Akiyama (13-3, 2 NC, 1-2 UFC) debuted in the UFC with a split-decision win over Alan Belcher, but has been on a two-fight losing streak since, losing to Chris Leben and Michael Bisping, but continued to get higher-level opponents with each bout.
Miller (13-4, 1 NC, 5-3 UFC) rides a two fight winning streak into UFC 128, with a submission win over John Salter, and most recently a split decision victory over Joe Doerksen. Miller had dropped three successive fights to Chael Sonnen, Demian Maia, and Michael Bisping before the win over Salter.
UFC 128 Main Card:
Light Heavyweight Championship Bout: Maruicio 'Shogun' Rua vs. Jon Jones
Bantamweight Bout: Urijah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland
Middleweight Bout: Nate Marquardt vs. Dan Miller
Lightweight Bout: Jim Miller vs. Kamal Shalorus
Heavyweight Bout: Brendan Schaub vs. Mirko 'Cro Cop' Filipovic