Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - 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." /> UFC Inks Akiyama | UFC ® - News
Article

UFC Inks Akiyama

Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - 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.
By Thomas Gerbasi

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.”

Born of Korean descent in Osaka, Japan, Akiyama first made his name in the international sports world as a decorated black belt in judo who collected numerous titles, including a Gold medal in the 2002 Asian Games.

By 2004, Akiyama sought a new challenge in the world of mixed martial arts, and he made an immediate impact on December 31, 2004 when he debuted with a first round submission win in his bout against former world heavyweight boxing champion Francois Botha.

Over the next three years, the 5 foot 10 Akiyama built a stellar reputation as one of the best fighters in the world, submitting highly-touted knockout artist Melvin Manhoef, knocking out UFC middleweight Denis Kang, and engaging in battles with the likes of Kazushi Sakuraba and Kazuo Misaki. In 2008, the 33-year old continued his run of excellence, submitting Katsuyori Shibata and Masanori Tonooka to up his stellar MMA record to 12-1 with two no-contests, with none of his bouts going the distance.

Press conferences in Japan and Korea will take place in the coming days; details to be announced shortly.

No opponent or date has been determined for Akiyama’s UFC debut.
Saturday, January 27
8PM/5PM
ETPT
Charlotte, North Carolina

Media

Recent
Take a slow-motion trip through the historic UFC 220: Miocic vs Ngannou event from Boston that saw two thrilling, successful title defenses. Order the full replay now at www.ufc.tv
Jan 22, 2018
Experience an in-depth and personal account of the complex lives and relentless training camps for six of the UFC’s most stunning finishers in UFC Road to the Octagon: Jacare vs Brunson 2.
Jan 22, 2018
The wild co-main event features New Yorker Dennis Bermudez and Californian Andre Fili look to showcase their electrifying talents in the featherweight division.
Jan 22, 2018
Rising lightweight challengers Gregor Gillespie and Jordan Rinaldi meet in the biggest fight of their young careers this Saturday at Fight Night Charlotte, live and free on FOX.
Jan 22, 2018