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UFC
Thiago Alves vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama reportedly targeted for UFC event in July
Apr 10, 2012 - 6:35:27 PM
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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

thiago_alves_180_2.jpeg
The UFC doesn't often keep fighters on the roster after four consecutive losses, but they've made exceptions with a few fighters this year. Steve Cantwell became the first fighter to lose five consecutive fights in the organization earlier this year, and Dan Hardy is staring down a potential 0-5 run in his UFC 146 bout against Duane "Bang" Ludwig.

Now, add Yoshihiro Akiyama to the short list of fighters being given another shot after four straight losses.

According to a report from MMAFighting.com, Akiyama is expected to take on Thiago Alves this July, likely at UFC 149 in Calgary.

Akiyama's fourth straight UFC loss came in his first fight at welterweight in February. After a three fight losing streak at middleweight, he dropped down and took on Jake Shields, losing a decision at UFC 144 in Japan.

Alves is in need of a win as well, though not as desperately as his opponent. He has lost four of his last six, most recently suffering a submission loss in the final minute of his main event fight with Martin Kampmann at UFC on FX 2 last month.

Penick's Analysis: I'm not surprised to see the UFC giving Akiyama another fight. Even though he's lost four straight, he's a fighter they like, and that bout with Shields was his first at welterweight. They'll give him one more chance at 170 lbs., and they're not giving him an easy fight. This is a solid welterweight matchup, and should be an enjoyable fight, but neither guy can really afford a loss here.


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