Yoshihiro Akiyama's UFC career has certainly been exciting, but it hasn't been successful. He made his UFC debut with a somewhat controversial split decision win over Alan Belcher at UFC 100 only to lose his next three bouts becoming the first man submitted by Chris Leben in almost five years, getting outstruck by Michael Bisping for three rounds and finished in the first round by the power striking of Vitor Belfort.
It has seemed clear for quite some time that one thing Akiyama needed to do was cut from middleweight to welterweight. Being that he was given the rare opportunity to stay in the UFC after three straight losses it appears that Yoshihiro decided the time is right to make the change.
Here is the result of his first test drop to 170 pounds:
(photo via stat.ameba.jp)
Akiyama dropped just over thirty pounds in a month and looks very powerful at the weight. This could be the start of a second life for his career, we will see what the UFC has in mind for him at welterweight.