UFC Signs Yoshihiro Akiyama
Total Pro Sports – The MMA fan in me is getting really excited about some of the things the UFC has done recently. A free show that has a total of 9 televised fights, the signing of former lightweight champ Caol Uno, and now the signing of the best middleweight fighter from Japan.
Akiyama is a decorated Judoka with strong striking, a freakish judo game, and the ability to finish via submission. His lone loss coming at the hands of a pro heavyweight kickboxer, Jerome Le Banner.
“The Ultimate Fighting Championship today announced that it has signed top-ten middleweight contender Yoshihiro Akiyama to an exclusive promotional contract that will see him step into the UFC Octagon for the first time this summer.”
“I’m excited to bring Akiyama into the UFC and I can see him making an immediate impact in the middleweight division,” said UFC President Dana White. “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.”
It seems as though the UFC is moving forward with the plans of globalizing their product. MMA is big business in Japan, and by signing Japan’s most famous fighter, this will be much more plausible. Lots of exciting fights for Akiyama in the middlewieght division including Rich Franklin, Yushin Okami, Nate Marquardt, and hopefully Anderson Silva some day.
Many of Akiyama’s fights have included him wearing a full Gi, this is not permitted in the UFC and should be interesting how he deals with it. As a huge Akiyama fan, this is great news.
UFC Inks Akiyama – [UFC]