Yoshihiro Akiyama made middleweight his debut inside the Octagon at UFC 100 in Las Vegas. And that's about all we can say about that except Alan Belcher just got robbed!
Akiyama (13-1) won a split decision. How that happened, I have no idea. No way he did enough to win the fight, let alone all three rounds, as one judge scored it. Another scored it 29-28 in favor of the Japanese import, while the third judge gave the fight to Belcher, 29-28. As did Fightin' Words (which of course doesn't mean much beyond this blog.)
Belcher (13-5) landed leg kicks at will in the second round, which was a change from the first round when he blasted Akiyama in the nether regions with a left leg kick. Inadvertently, of course, but tell that to Akiyama's nether regions!
Akiyama's left eye was swollen shut by the end of the fight.
Overall, I thought Akiyama made a decent debut in the UFC. Nothing too spectacular. I don't understand why he kept the fight on his feet so much. If he's supposed to be a judo superstar in Japan, shouldn't he do more than just throw punches? The few times he exhibited such skills, he looked good, especially in his escapes.
The scene inside Radio City: It was a pretty neutral crowd for this fight. All the fans wanted was to see each fighter punch and kick. They got what they wanted.
4:07 a.m. UPDATE: Ha! Just watched the post-fight press conference and Dana White said "I wasn't 100 percent sure of the decision, you know what I mean, but I think it was a tough fight to score, too." Still, each fighter earned $100,000 for Fight of the Night.