Though it’s been in the works since late last year, a middleweight meeting between Wanderlei Silva (33-10-1, 1 no-contest) and Korean sex-symbol Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-1, 2 no-contests) is finally going to happen at UFC 116 (July 3rd, Las Vegas), according to a new report from Fighters Only. The Axe Murderer has had a rocky road in the Octagon, but he’s 1-0 as a 185-pounder, thanks to his unanimous decision win over Michael Bisping at UFC 110. Akiyama hasn’t competed since his UFC debut at #100, where he scratched out a split-decision win against Alan Belcher. Akiyama hasn’t suffered an official defeat since his second MMA fight back in March 2005, when he was paired up against heavyweight kickboxer Jerome LeBanner and subsequently KTFO’d.
In other matchmaking news, MMA Junkie says that a light-heavyweight bout between Matt Hamill and Keith Jardine is slated for the TUF 11 finale (June 19th, Las Vegas). Jardine is coming off three straight losses against Quinton Jackson, Thiago Silva, and Ryan Bader, and another loss here would result in a guaranteed firing. Technically, Hamill is riding a three-fight win streak, though his last appearance — an absolute demolition at the hands of Jon Jones that ended in a controversial disqualification due to 12-to-6 elbows — certainly didn’t feel like a victory. So who will get their much-needed rebound?