Yoshihiro Akiyama will travel stateside in October to train with Shawn Tompkins and the Xtreme Couture MMA camp in Las Vegas.
Tompkins said the Japanese-Korean middleweight is expected to stay the entire month with the team and will focus on “refining his striking” with the coach and Vitor Belfort, who is slated to face UFC 185-pound champion Anderson Silva in January.
Tompkins said he first worked with the 2006 K-1 Hero’s tournament champion behind the scenes at UFC 97 last April in Montreal. Tompkins said he did not know who or when the former world-class judoka would be fighting in his next Octagon appearance.
“He is a great person and fighter and has a very slick aggressive style,” said Tompkins. “I would like to help him with his defense.”
Akiyama took a split decision over Alan Belcher at UFC 100 last July in Las Vegas. Akiyama was a star in the Japan-based Dream and K-1 Hero’s promotions.