The UFC continues to shore up a weak middleweight division by signing Japanese star Yoshihiro Akiyama to a contract.
Akiyama has an impressive 12-1 record (with two no-contests) in a career spent mostly in the K-1 Hero’s promotion. Most recently, Akiyama competed in DREAM, winning both his fights there.
Considering the recent uproar over UFC 94, it is ironic that one of Akiyama’s no-contest fights was a result of his applying lotion to his body before his K-1 fight against Kazushi Sakuraba. Rumors were also rampant that Akiyama also used “brass knuckles” in the fight against Sakuraba, and despite some compelling evidence, nothing ever came of those claims.
Akiyama is a judo specialist who possesses some good knockout power as well. There is no word yet regarding when Akiyama will make his UFC debut or who his first opponent would be. Personally, I’d love to see Akiyama rematch with Denis Kang for his first fight in the Octagon.