Following the recent disaster that befell the nation of Japan, the ability to travel in and out of the country was severely hindered and Japanese UFC middleweight fighter Yoshihiro Akiyama has been forced to withdraw from his planned appearance on this Saturday’s UFC 128 fight card as a result.
Considering their spot on the main card, UFC officials scrambled to find a replacement opponent for Marquardt, eventually bringing New Jersey native Dan Miller up from the undercard to fight in Akiyama’s stead. With the nation of Japan reeling from massive infrastructure damage and an untold loss of life, it would be understandable for Miller to feel slightly guilty for benefiting from such drastic misfortune.
This afternoon at the press conference held in New York to promote the fight card, Miller was asked if he was feeling conflicting emotions for that reason and, while he does empathize, he said that he is going to make the most of the chance.
“Your heart goes out to the Japanese people, and it’s unfortunate,” Miller said. “I’m just taking this opportunity that the UFC gave me, and I’m trying to make the most of it.”
Marquardt closely echoed Miller’s sentiment, sending all of his goodwill to Japan and her citizens and expressing thanks that Miller could and did step up to take Akiyama’s place.
“I got the news about Akiyama dropping out, and my thoughts and prayers go out to all the Japanese people,” said. “I’m just really thankful that Dan stepped up so I could have a fight. I know we’re going to go out and put on a great performance, and an exciting fight.”
Miller and Marquardt will meet at UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones this Saturday night in the Prudential Center of Newark, New Jersey.