Former Strikeforce middleweight champion, Jake Shields will face Japanese superstar, Yoshihiro Akiyama in his home country when he makes his welterweight debut at UFC 144 in Saitama, Japan on February 25th. The UFC announced the fight today meaning both fighters have likely signed official bout agreements.
Shields looked promising in his UFC debut picking up a split decision win over Martin Kampmann. Since then he lost back-to-back fights to welterweight champ, Georges St-Pierre and most recently Jake Ellenberger.
Akiyama’s sole win inside the octagon came via split decision over Alan Belcher. He will be looking to get back on track after a trio of defeats to Chris Leben, Michael Bisping and Vitor Belfort.