UFC NEWS: Nate Marquardt vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama coming to UFC 128 in New Jersey By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief UFC middleweight Nate Marquardt is taking another high profile fight due to a fighter being pulled from a card, as ESPN reports that Marquardt will step in for Chael Sonnen in a bout against Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 128 in March. Sonnen was originally targeted for the fight, but his guilty plea to money laundering in Oregon this week led to the UFC freezing his contract until he gets issues in his personal life in order. In steps Marquardt, who similarly replaced Vitor Belfort at UFC 122 in November when Belfort was pulled to face Anderson Silva at UFC 126 next month. Marquardt dropped a decision in a disappointing performance in Germany, but will look to get back on track against Akiyama. Akiyama is likely fighting for his job after consecutive losses. After winning a split decision over Alan Belcher in his debut, Akiyama returned to face Chris Leben at UFC 116. After an exciting back and forth battle, Akiyama was forced to submit to a triangle choke at the end of the third round. He returned in October, losing a decision to Michael Bisping in London. UFC 128 takes place from the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, headlined by a Light Heavyweight Title bout between Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Rashad Evans. Link to Original Source Article Penick's Analysis: This is a great fight for the middleweight division, especially with both fighters in desperate need of a win after disappointing losses in the fall. Marquardt, despite his 2010 losses to Sonnen and Okami, is one of the best and most well rounded fighters in the division. Akiyama has struggled this year since returning from a year long layoff, and this is going to be his last chance to get back on track before the UFC releases him along with the others that have found themselves out of a job this week. But this is an excellent fight for the 128 card. Source: http://www.mmatorch.com/artman2/publish/UFC_2/article_8070.shtml Mike Goldberg Joe Silva Chuck Lidell Tito Ortiz


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