Yoshihiro Akiyama To Face Wanderlei SilvaBeginning 2010 in style, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will feature a blockbuster middleweight bout between former DREAM and K-1 HERO’s star Yoshihiro Akiyama and long-time PRIDE Middleweight Champion “The Axe Murderer” Wanderlei Silva. The fight will take place at UFC 110 or 111 next year.

The bout will mark Silva’s debut at middleweight and will be a tough test. Always an exciting fighter, Silva has dropped five of his last six fights, while Akiyama has not suffered an official loss since 2005.

Akiyama (13-1-0, 2 NC) won his UFC debut against Alan Belcher at UFC 100, but seemed to be a step behind in many of the striking exchanges. His judo and submission skills are matched by few, however, and he has shown that he can absorb punishment in his fights.

Silva (32-10-1, 1 NC), who reigned supreme in PRIDE for years, has not enjoyed the same success since joining the UFC. While his fights never disappoint, he has lost five of his last six and desperately needs an impressive victory.

The fight, which is tentatively set for either UFC 110 in Las Vegas or UFC 111 in Australia, is a very interesting style matchup. Akiyama holds a significant edge in throws and submissions, while Silva’s knockout power is legendary.

Both are unorthodox strikers with brawling styles.

Already a potential Fight of the Year candidate for 2010, the middleweight bout will be sure to captivate UFC audiences next year.