Top British middleweight Michael Bisping’s next opponent will be Japanese judo stylist Yoshihiro Akiyama, Fighters Only learned this morning from a UK source. The fight will headline UFC 120 in October.
Bout agreements have been drawn up and at least one has been completed and signed, with the second expected to be completed in the very near future to make the bout official.
Akiyama will be attempting to rebound from an ugly loss to Chris Leben at UFC 116. In that bout Akiyama engaged in a lot of punching exchanges with the harder hitting Leben but was able to win a portion of them and stun the southpaw at some points. However, when Akiyama used his judo background to get to the ground he was caught in deep armbars by a man with a very lacking ground game before getting caught in a fight ending triangle choke in the third round.
Bisping won a fairly easy fight against Dan Miller where he was able to work his boxing very effectively. The real question here is if he can manage to outstrike Akiyama standing without getting rocked by the powerful looping punches of Akiyama. On the ground I'd give the edge to Bisping but it seems like the kind of fight that will be decided in the stand-up.