July 11, 2009
Yoshihiro Akiyama put on a nice show in his UFC debut but much of it was showing how tough he was throughout the fight, taking big shots all over the left side of his body. Belcher consistently landed big leg kicks and closed Akiyama's left eye. By the middle of the third round, Akiyama looked worn down by the much bigger Belcher. That's not the way the judges saw it. Adelaide Byrd scored it a shutout for Akiyama and Patricia Morse-Jarman gave it 29-28 to Akiyama, giving the star from Japan a split decision victory over Belcher.
This was another Fight of the Night Candidate. The sold out crowd at the Mandalay Bay Events Center gave the fighters a standing ovation. If Belcher and Akiyama get the bonus it should be good enough for at least $60,000.
Akiyama, a Korean national, is a huge star in Japan and Korean. He's hated by many because of controversial greasing issues in the past. Nicknamed "Sexiyama" he is part of a celebrity couple with Japanese supermodel Shiho Yano.
Join Cagewriter with Adam Hill from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and Ariel Helwani from the AOL Fanhouse as the fellas wrap up UFC 100 with a live postfight show from Mandalay Bay between 1:30-3 a.m. ET. Listen here for the show.
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