Japanese-Korean judoka Yoshihiro Akiyama decided to make some changes in his training after posting a last-second submission loss to Chris Leben at UFC 116. The Asian heartthrob joined the team at Greg Jackson’s in Albuequerque, New Mexico and took a few moments out of training to give updates on how his training is going and what he expects out of his next opponent, Michael Bisping.
“I am doing various training with Jackson’s and it’s going well,” Akiyama said through his translator.
Akiyama entered into MMA on the strength of his Judo background, but has continued to evolve as a mixed martial artist throughout his career. He revealed during his interview, however, that he has ceased training Judo in order to better focus on other aspects of MMA.
“I do not practice Judo anymore,” he said. “I am only training in general martial arts.”
Akiyama is scheduled to take on Michael “The Count” Bisping this October 16th at UFC 120 which is to be held at the O2 Arena in London, England. Akiyama revealed that he is looking forward to the fight and has nothing but respect for his opponent.
“Bisping is a very tough and great fighter,” Akiyama said. “I honestly respect him.”
Akiyama was likely en route to defeating Leben in his last outing before running out of steam in the last frame and succumbing to a triangle choke. The results of his training at Jackson’s, good or bad, will be on display at UFC 120; where a win for either man will bring them one step closer to title contention in the UFC’s middleweight division.