Yoshihiro Akiyama earned a solid decision victory over Amir Sadollah tonight at UFC Fight Night 52 to prove he’s still a force to be reckoned with at the age of 39, landing the harder shots over the course of three rounds and controlling the action on top when the fight hit the mat.
high front kick from Sadollah to start. He pumps out a coupe of punches, then another high kick, and another, but nothing that troubles Akiyama. Sadollah continues to push forward, but then Akiyama goes in for a trip and gets him to the mat effortlessly.
Akiyama in half guard and maintaining position well, but no real offense yet. Less than two minutes to go and Akiyama postures up a little more and tries to land a few punches. Sadollah uses that extra space to start working to his feet and is successful in doing so.
They work into the clinch, but soon break apart. Akiyama with a spinning kick to the body. A little tentative on the feet from both men as the clock ticks down. Akiyama tries to work to the body and Akiyama counters him with a punch.
Sadollah with a leg kick. He goes for a head kick afterwards, but Akiyama takes it. Sadollah trying to work in a few more leg kicks here early in the second. He lands a few and then misses with a superman punch.
Akiyama attempts a spinning kick and soon after a spinning backfist. Sadollah with a head kick, but it only grazes his opponent. Again he goes back to the leg kicks. Suddenly Akiyama blasts down the middle with a big punch that lands flush.
Sadollah seems fine, but that punch may have busted up his nose. They continue and Akiyama lands a couple more punches and Sadollah is staggered. Akiyama manages to get on top and lands strikes, but Sadollah has recovered and is able to defend himself off his back to keep the referee from stopping the fight.
30 seconds remaining in the second with Akiyama still on top. Sadollah tries to get out from underneath as Akiyama tries to improve position and he does get to his feet just as the round ends.
Head kick misses from Sadollah. He fakes a takedown attempt and then comes back upstairs with punches and a knee.
Sadollah with range finding punches and then Akiyama starts to let his hands go a little. Akiyama with an overhand, but Sadollah counters with a strike of his own.
Sadollah misses with a leg kick. Akiyama resets and then puts together a couple of punches. Akiyama with a spinning kick. Akiyama starting to push the pace now. Sadollah with a head kick attempt, but Akiyama knocks him off-balance to the mat.
Akiyama gets on top with Sadollah pressed almost sideways against the cage. Akiyama throwing down some right hands. 90 seconds to go and blood from Sadollah’s nose is turning the mat red. Akiyama continues to blast down repeated hard right hands.
30 seconds to go and he unleashes more lefts and rights as he tries to finish this fight, but Sadollah eats the punches and continues to defend himself as best as he can to survive until the final bell.
No real doubt about the winner here, Akiyama earns a convincing unanimous decision victory (30-27 x3).