After swirling rumors the UFC has finally announced the main event for UFC 120 in London. Michael Bisping (20-3) will not be facing Vitor Belfort, instead he will be fighting Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama (23-2-0 2nc).
Akiyama just fought at UFC 116 where is lost a high energy fight against Chris Leben by third round submission. Akiyama’s only other UFC fight was against Alan Belcher at UFC 100 where he won by a very close split decision. Both of these fights were absolute wars with Akiyama proving he can take it as well as dish it out.
Michael Bisping is 2-2 in his last four fights; the losses were against Dan Henderson by TKO and Wanderlei Silva by Unanimous Decision. The two victories were a TKO win over Denis Kang and most recently a Unanimous Decision over Dan Miller at UFC 114.
Bisping has great cardio which allows him to push the pace threw three rounds as well as good accuracy in his stand up. Bisping’s reach will allow him to stick and move while standing.
If and when the fight goes to the ground Bisping will want to use his ground and pound skills and apply pressure to keep Akiyama on his toes. Bisping’s last two wins were against BJJ black belts showing he has solid defense.
Akiyama is an expert Judo practitioner with good KO skills and above average BJJ skills.
He will try to land a few big shots on Bisping, testing that “suspect” chin ending the fight quickly. Akiyama also possess a very solid chin having been knocked out only once, against a guy 80 lbs. heavier than him.
Both fighters need this win badly if they want to stay within striking range of the title. With a win over Akiyama could quite possibly put Bisping 2 wins away from a title shot. If Akiyama wins it is a good notch in the belt while trying to climb up the ladder and possibly a fight with Wanderlei Silva he desperately wants.