UFC Future Odds: Yoshihiro Akiyama (+255) vs. Thiago Alves (-295)

Click for video Yoshihiro Akiyama (+225) Profile: Akiyama (13-5, 2 No-Contests) has been a disappointment since winning his UFC debut against Alan Belcher by split decision at UFC 100 almost two years ago. The judo specialist has lost four consecutive bouts, although three of his past five have earned Fight of the Night honors. After suffering his third straight defeat at middleweight, the 36-year-old Akiyama decided to move down to welterweight in order to stay in the UFC. He proceeded to lose to Jake Shields via unanimous decision in his welterweight debut at UFC 144 back on February 26. Thiago Alves (-295) Profile: Like Akiyama, Alves (24-8) has been a bit of a disappointment with UFC bettors lately, dropping four of his past six bouts. Alves saw a streak of seven wins in a row end with a loss to current UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 100, fighting on the same card as Akiyama but for the title. He has not been the same fighter since that loss, failing to make weight in a unanimous decision loss to Jon Fitch at UFC 117, where he was visibly tired and lacked energy. Alves’ most recent bout saw him choked out by Martin Kampmann at 4:12 of the third round at UFC on FX 2 on March 2. He was a slight favorite against Kampmann according to the UFC odds and has been favored in each of his past five fights, going 2-3 during that stretch. Opening Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has Alves as a solid -295 favorite (bet $295 to win $100) against the underdog Akiyama, who is +225 (bet $100 to win $225). Both fighters need to step up and earn a victory here, otherwise their future in the UFC could be in jeopardy. Akiyama could have trouble against Alves’ Muay Thai style of fighting, especially his vicious leg kicks. Alves is a very dangerous striker and still has loads of potential if he can just stay focused and recognize that his opportunities are dwindling. The loser of this bout could be on his way out of the UFC, so there is definitely a lot of pressure to produce for each of them.

Written by Matty

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