According to MMAFighting, a welterweight matchup between Thiago Alves and Yoshihiro Akiyama has been scheduled sometime in July, probably at UFC 149.
As Dan Hardy found out, strong showings of courage in the Octagon will keep you around with the UFC, win or lose (for a little while anyway). Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-5, 2 NC) is currently enjoying that unofficial policy of the Zuffa brass, as he’ll be meeting Alves on a four-fight slump.
After losing three straight middleweight contests to Chris Leben, Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort, Akiyama headed south to try his luck at welterweight. Jake Shields greeted him rudely, sending the talented judo player home with a unanimous decision loss. Having earned three Fight of the Night performances during his five-fight UFC career, Sexyama will have at least one more chance to prove he belongs in the Octagon.
Since losing to Georges St-Pierre for the title in 2009, Thiago Alves (19-9) has been inconsistent. Wins over John Howard and Papy Abedi have been overshadowed by losses to Jon Fitch (in a rematch), Rick Story and Martin Kampmann. In his most recent outing, Alves gave up a three-round lead over Martin Kampmann by unnecessarily diving for a takedown and giving up the guillotine. More proof that Alves’ recent deficiencies are not a result of skill, but of mindset.
UFC 149 will take place on July 21 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, marking the first time that the UFC has held an event in the city.