Jake Shields Meets Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 144

Jake Shields Strikeforce

Jake Shields as Strikeforce champion

Jake Shields will travel to Japan for his next fight as he faces former middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 144.

UFC officials announced the new bout on Monday.

After spending years in several other organizations, including Strikeforce, Shields finally made his move over the UFC last year. Shields earned a shot at UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre after his first win in the Octagon, but came up short in his bid to beat the long-reigning titleholder.

Shields came back in September, attempting to get back on a winning track, but ran into a buzzsaw named Jake Ellenberger. Now the former Strikeforce champion will look to bounce back from back-to-back losses. He’ll travel to Japan to look for the win.

Dropping down to 170 pounds is something Japanese star Yoshihiro Akiyama has been told to do for years, but following three straight losses in the Octagon he finally decided to make the move.

Akiyama has already made a test cut to welterweight, and knows that to secure his place in the UFC he needs a win in his native Japan.

The bout between Shields and Akiyama is the latest addition to the card after the main event bout between Frankie Edgar and challenger Benson Henderson was announced over the weekend.

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