Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Force Yoshihiro Akiyama to Withdraw From UFC 128

Written by Tom Ngo
March 12th, 2011

UFC Yoshihiro Akiyama

Just hours after tweeting middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama and his family survived Friday’s tragic earthquake and tsunami relatively unscathed, UFC president Dana White announced the popular Japanese superstar removed himself from UFC 128 and will remain in his homeland to tend to more pressing matters.

Dan Miller, who was slated to face Nick Catone on the March 19th card, has agreed to serve as a last-minute substitute against Nate Marquardt.

“New Jersey native Dan Miller proves once again that he will fight anyone, anywhere, any time by agreeing to step up from the prelims to face Nate Marquardt,” White stated. “Marquardt has long been a top ten ranked middleweight and Miller jumped at the opportunity to face him.”

The official press release did not specify why Akiyama opted to pull out. However, he did post pictures and comments on his official website yesterday morning showing what the earthquake did to his home.

Miller vs. Marquardt will appear in the pay-per-view portion of the night’s festivities. No word on what the future holds for Catone.

“UFC 128: Shogun vs. Jones” takes place inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Please text REDCROSS to 90999 if you would like to make a $10 donation to help with Japanese relief.

Here is the card’s revised lineup:

Preliminary Bouts:

Nick Catone vs. TBD
Erik Koch vs. Raphael Assuncao
Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian Lovela

(Facebook 8PM ET/5PM PT)

Kurt Pellegrino vs. Gleison Tibau
Ricardo Almeida vs. Mike Pyle

(Spike TV 9PM ET/6PM PT)

Edson Barboza vs. Anthony Njokuani
Luiz Cane vs. Eliot Marshall

Main Bouts:

Brendan Schaub vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic
Dan Miller vs. Nate Marquardt
Kamal Shalorus vs. Jim Miller
Urijah Faber vs. Eddie Wineland
Jon Jones vs. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (UFC Light Heavyweight Champion)

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