As expected, the world’s premier mixed martial arts promotion has just confirmed UFC 120 will be jumping off inside the O2 Arena in London, England on October 16th. A pivotal middleweight match-up between Michael Bisping and Yoshihiro Akiyama will headline the highly anticipated event.
After shooting out of the MMA gates with a perfect 14-0 record, Bisping has gone a mundane 2-2 over his last four contests. The Brit was last seen posting a unanimous decision victory over Dan Miller at UFC 114, bumping his overall mark to 19-3.
“It is great to be fighting in the U.K. after going to Australia and Las Vegas in my last two fights,” Bisping stated. “The British fans have always given me unbelievable support and I’ve never lost at home, so I am looking to help make this another special night for British MMA.”
Akiyama was submitted by Chris Leben at UFC 116 in his last outing. Although he entered the Octagon with much fanfare in 2009, Sexyama’s upset loss to Leben puts him at 1-1 inside the Octagon. Back-to-back losses could have the judo specialist’s head on the chopping block.
“Bisping is a very good technical striker, so I am expecting a stand-up match with him,” Akiyama said. “Michael Bisping – thank you for taking this fight with me, and let’s put on an exciting show for our fans in England.”
The UFC also confirmed two welterweight scraps for the card. Mike Pyle will look to hand John Hathaway his first professional blemish, while a critical 170-pound scrap between Dan Hardy and Carlos Condit will be showcased in the night’s co-main event.
Although nothing has been announced, the rumor mill was buzzing that the UFC and Spike TV will offer this show for free via same-day tape delay.
Here are the fighters rumored/expected to make the trip across the pond:
James McSweeney vs. Tom Blackledge
John Hathaway vs. Mike Pyle
Cheick Kongo vs. Travis Browne
Dan Hardy vs. Carlos Condit
Michael Bisping vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama