Damn earthquake. As if killing unknown thousands of people and destroying entire cities wasn’t enough, it’s also ruined one of the best fights on the UFC 128 card – Akiyama vs Nate Marquardt.
UFC president Dana White initially reported on Twitter on Friday night that “Akiyama and his family are safe,” and that the Japanese fighter would be Stateside for the fight. But several hours later the news had changed.
“Yoshihiro Akiyama will not be able to participate at UFC 128 due to the tragedy in Japan,” White said in the UFC’s official statement.
Marshall Zelaznik, the UFC’s managing director of international development, said on his Twitter feed early Saturday morning that the UFC had been told Akiyama and his family were safe, but the decision had been made to pull out of the fight. Millions of Japanese residents are without power, and the state of emergency has severely hampered travel to and from the East Asian island nation.
Dan Miller is stepping up from the prelims to face Nate now, so at least they’ve got a good replacement opponent.