Not only is Yoshihiro Akiyama remaining in the UFC, for now, he will also remain at welterweight, for now, as he is set to take on Thiago Alves at UFC 149 in July. The pay-per-view event will take place at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on July 21st, the first of three Canadian UFC events in 2012.
Akiyama, who refers to be known only as “Sexyama”, lost his fourth consecutive fight in the UFC, losing to Jake Shields at UFC 144 in his home country of Japan. Making his welterweight debut, Akiyama lost a closely contested decision to the former welterweight title contender. Since winning his UFC debut at UFC 100 in July 2009 over Alan Belcher, Akiyama has lost four straight, which includes losses to Shields, Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort. The fan favorite has survived four straight losses, but a fifth will almost certainly end his tenure in the UFC.
Alves will also be looking to rebound from a loss, as he lost to Martin Kampmann at UFC on FX 2 in March. After winning the first two rounds, along with the first four minutes of the third, Alves seemed on his way to a unanimous decision win. That is, until he went for a takedown of Kampmann. While the takedown was successful, its effectiveness was not, as “The Hitman” sunk in a guillotine, which caused “The Pitbull” to tap. Prior to that, Alves was 2-1 in his last three fights, which included wins over Papy Abedi and John Howard. The former welterweight title contender earned a title shot against champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 100 after seven consecutive wins, but he has yet to put together consecutive wins since that defeat.
UFC 149 will be headlined by Jose Also, who will defend his featherweight championship against a yet-to-be named opponent.
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