The UFC’s middleweight division has been habitually short of contenders. In a bit of news that adds to the recent surge of excitement in the 185lbs. division, Fighters Only magazine is reporting that the winner of the UFC 110 matchup between Michael Bisping (18-2) and Wanderlei Silva (32-10-1) could face Japanese sensation Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1).
An “industry source” told Fighters Only that instead of being able to put himself into title contention with a win over “The Axe Murderer”, as was being rumored, Bisping will instead reportedly be fighting for a chance to take on accomplished judoka Akiyama.
Wanderlei Silva was widely rumored to be fighting Akiyama until the match with Bisping was announced. If Silva wins the match with Bisping, another undisclosed source is telling Fighters Only that the UFC will try to capitalize on the enormous popularity shared by Silva and Akiyama among Japanese fight fans by pitting them against each other on a UFC card in Japan.
Yoshihiro Akiyama made his UFC debut at UFC 100 and earned Fight of the Night honors along with Alan Belcher in a fight that the Judo player won by controversial split-decision.