The UFC are heading back to London, England on October 16th for an event that will air for free on Spike TV and UK star Michael Bisping looks set to headline the show against Japan’s Yoshihiro Akiyama.
The news comes from The Telegraph’s MMA correspondent Gareth Davies who describes the bout as, “almost certain.”
This was a bout that had been rumored for some time, but appeared to be put in doubt after Akiyama lost to Chris Leben at UFC 116 last weekend. Vitor Belfort then appeared to be the front-runner, but Bisping himself hinted that was no longer the case on his twitter account yesterday, telling a fan, “rumours were looking true, but now they aren’t.”
And so it appears the UFC have now settled on Akiyama. Though the Judokan lost to Leben, he did put in a ‘Fight Of The Night’ performance, with some going as far as to say it could be considered a ‘Fight Of The Year’ candidate. He also demonstrated a strong chin and significant punching power which could stand him in good stead against the Brit.
Bisping is no stranger to facing heavy-handed strikers though, including the aforementioned Leben who he outpointed back at UFC 89. ‘The Count’ is also well known for having excellent cardio, something that Akiyama still struggles with and may ultimately have led to his downfall last Saturday night.