There seems to be two sides to the relationship between the UFC and Akiyama. One side is where the UFC loves him and pushes him hard and keeps him around dispite a record of three losses and one gift decision over his two year tenure with the promotion. Then there’s the slightly more sadistic side shown when they sent him out against Vitor Belfort at UFC 133.
Guess which side is being exhibited now with the announcement of Sexyama’s Japanese event opponent: Jake Shields. On the plus side, it’s not likely that our favorite Zainichi outsider is gonna get his eggs scrambled like he did against Vitor. But this is one of those fights where you wonder if the matchmaker has a grudge or something.
Now I ain’t saying ‘Give Akiyama a break’ or anything. He probably got more than his fair share of breaks over his first few UFC fights. But he certainly hasn’t done anything (positive OR negative) to deserve a fight against Jake Shields. After the losses he’s taken, shouldn’t Yoshihiro be in a lower, less ass-rapey bracket? I know the UFC’s gotta position him as a contender in order to build some interest in Japan (not like they seem to care), but surely there were better options? Unless of course a three round humping is exactly what the plan was.