The UFC has added a second bout to its return to Japan on February 26 for UFC 144.
According to UFC president Dana White, joining a main event lightweight championship bout between Frankie Edgar and Benson Henderson on the card will be a welterweight showdown between former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields and Japanese fan favorite Yoshihiro Akiyama, who will be make his 170-lb debut that night.
0-2 in his last two outings with back-to-back losses to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 129 and Jake Ellenberger at UFN 25, Shields will be looking to right the ship by handing “Sexyama” his fourth straight loss in the Octagon and possibly his walking papers in the process.
Akiyama is an unimpressive 1-3 in his four UFC appearances, with a hotly contested split decision win over Alan Belcher in his debut at UFC 100, followed by a trio of losses to Chris Leben, Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort at UFCs 116, 120 and 133, respectively.
UFC 144 will take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan and will also feature Quinton “Rampage” Jackson against a yet-to-be-named opponent.