Japanese UFC middleweight fighter Yoshihiro Akiyama is apparently looking to make some changes in his training camp after suffering a last-minute loss to Chris Leben this past July at UFC 116; Sherdog.com is reporting that “Sexyama” will be joining renowned trainer Greg Jackson’s Albuquerque, New Mexico-based training camp for his upcoming UFC 120 bout with British fighter Michael Bisping.
General manager at Jackson MMA Ricky Kottenstette spoke with Sherdog via text message and confirmed that Akiyama will be joining the star-studded team.
“I was contacted by one of his representatives, and he said that (Akiyama) was looking to join a team,” said Kottenstette. “I went ahead and set it up, and he’s looking forward to working with (standup coach) Mr. (Mike) Winkeljohn and Greg for this camp.”
Kottenstette added that it is currently unclear whether or not Akiyama plans to make this a recurring move or if it is just for one training camp; either way, he says, Akiyama is welcome at Jackson’s.
“I don’t know his intentions long term,” he said. “He’s down here to do a camp, and we’re happy to have him.”
Greg Jackson also commented on Akiyama’s addition to the team and said that he believes the Korean-born fighter’s unique style and fighter’s mindset will fit in perfectly with the existing crew.
“His fluidity is what I enjoy, the way he transitions from one thing to the next. And his attitude: he likes to fight,” said Jackson. “It just brings a skillset to the table, judo and his particular style. Another good guy for the team: sparring and he’ll bring in his own ideas.”
Akiyama is scheduled to take on UK middleweight Michael Bisping at UFC 120 this October 16th at the O2 Arena in London, England. The two middleweights will headline a card that is also expected to feature bouts between Dan Hardy and Carlos Condit, John Hathaway and Mike Pyle and more.