An exciting middleweight match-up between Yoshihiro Akiyama and Nate Marquardt appears to be set for a spot on the card at UFC 128 this March in Newark, New Jersey. Though both men are coming off losing performances in their previous bouts there is little doubt the pairing should provide fans with a good deal of entertainment based on the experience and well-rounded skills both will enter the Octagon with.
News of the face-off and attached event were reported by ESPN. It was also stated verbal agreements have been made and contracts are en route.
Prior to the 30-10-2 Marquardt’s unanimous decision defeat to Yushin Okami last November at UFC 122 he had won four of his last five fights and appeared to potentially be in line for another crack at the promotion’s 185-pound championship. He has found in-ring success against a number of notable opponents including Demian Maia, Martin Kampmann, and Kazuo Misaki in his career and has only been finished a single time in the last seven years.
Akiyama also found himself on the losing end of the judges’ scorecards in his last fight, a headlining scrap at UFC 120 against Michael Bisping this past October. It was the second consecutive defeat for the man dubbed “Sexyama” with the other being his highly-memorable throwdown with Chris Leben at UFC 116. He holds an overall record of 13-3 and beaten respectable foes like Alan Belcher, Melvin Manhoef, and Denis Kang.
The middleweight duo will join light heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at the March 19 show, who is defending his belt against Rashad Evans, with Urijah Faber, Joseph Benavidez, Jim Miller, Kurt Pellegrino, and others also attached to the card.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC