Written by: Karim Zidan
A welterweight bout between Thiago Alves and Yoshihiro Akiyama is expected to take place in Calgary. MMAFighting’s Mike Chiappetta was first to report the news.
After the UFC 149 kick-off press conference in Calgary, many expected the UFC to strike while the iron is hot and book some solid match-ups. According to UFC President Dana White, he had attempted to do some matchmaking of his own and set up what would have been a highly anticipated rematch between Shogun Rua and Dan Henderson, but those plans fell short when Henderson decided to sit out and await a shot at the UFC middleweight or light-heavyweight title. Since then, the UFC has announced Bryan Caraway/Mitch Gagnon and several other verbally agreed preliminary bouts, and although it is not clear where this fight will be placed, Alves/Akiyama would be the first PPV-worthy fight expected on the card.
Thiago Alves (19-9 MMA) suffered a disappointing (and quite frankly, heart-breaking) 3rd round submission loss to Martin Kampmann in his most recent fight. Considering that Alves was on his way to a comfortable unanimous decision victory over the Dane, his decision to take Kampmann down with 30 seconds left in the fight cost him dearly. Alves is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, with his other career loss coming to reigning champ Georges St-Pierre.
Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-5 MMA) made his welterweight debut back at UFC 144 and lost by unanimous decision to Jake Shields (who moved up to middleweight following the win). Akiyama is currently on a 4-fight losing streak (a feat he shares with Dan Hardy) and although his losses come to the likes of Jake Shields, Vitor Belfort and Michael Bisping, the self professed “Sexyama” will be looking to steer clear from becoming the second UFC fighter employed on a 5-fight losing streak.
MMAJunkie.com also reports that a featherweight match-up between George Roop (12-9-1 MMA) and Antonio Carvalho (13-5 MMA) has also been confirmed by the UFC brass.
UFC 149 takes place July 21st at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Jose Aldo is expected to defend his featherweight title at UFC 149 although his opponent remains undetermined.