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Posted on February 22, 2012 by John Petit
Welterweights Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields
Jake Shields was riding a 15 fight win streak when he met the jab of current welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and lost his challenge for his belt. In his next fight, and it happened in less than a minute, Shields was handed another loss by Jake Ellenberger. It was the first time Shields had been finished since March of 2000.
Besides two ‘no-contests,’ Akiyama was on a 13 fight win streak himself when he was invited to the UFC and fight Alan Belcher at UFC 100. Akiyama won his debut by decision, but he would go on to put up three consecutive losses to Chris Leben, Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort. Looking for a way to stop the wheels from coming completely off, Akiyama announced a push to welterweight, and UFC gave him the chance to fight Shields. Akiyama even posted picture of him making 170 pounds on his twitter, and he looked dreadful. For the rest of the breakdown I have to assume he will fight like he has at 185, but I would be shocked to see if he fights the same way come fight night.
My initial reaction to hearing Akiyama was dropping to 170 and fighting Jake Shields was, and i quote, “Did he lose a bet?” The only thing that would make this more embarrassing for Akiyama is if it would be happening in his home country, and then they announced it WAS. Jake Shields can grind people up, and control them at will on the ground with his world class grappling. Not only can Shields do that at 170 pounds, but he can do that at 185 pounds as well. The best guy Shields did that against was Dan Henderson, the guy who knocked out Fedor at Heavyweight, and is now in line to fight for the Light Heavyweight title as well (Henderson has also been champion in Strikeforce and Pride, and won the UFC 17 Tournament Champion.)
Akiyama will test Shields at the beginning of the fight, and he will come out trying to impress as if he losses he will likely be cut from the UFC. I think eventually Shields gets the fight to the ground, and control Akiyama from the top. I expect Jake to be the quicker fighter, and the longer the fight goes the more I give it to Shields. I see Akiyama being difficult to finish, but losing the bout by decision to Shields.
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields
Average Fight Time
/ Jake Shields