twitter google

UFC 116 Open Workout Interviews: Chris Leben & Yoshihiro Akiyama

Video highlights of Chris Leben and Yoshihiro Akiyama at the UFC 116 open workouts courtesy of MMA Fighting.

Yoshihiro Akiyama says he was initially reluctant to accept Chris Leben as his opponent because Leben isn’t nearly as big of a name as Wanderlei Silva in Japan.

“I’m very familiar with Chris’ popularity in the States, but compared to Wanderlei overseas, [Wanderlei] is a much more bigger name in Korea and Japan,” he said through an interpreter. “For me, to improve the popularity of MMA in Japan is one of my goals as well, and to do that, that’s a lesser name. That’s where I stood.”

“It was a 50/50 decision,” he said. “It just got to a point where I’m not going to do it for myself, but for the fans and everybody else. So that’s how I decided to take the fight.”

“Whether it’s a submission or knockout, I want to win decisively,” he said. “And also, I want the people of Japan to see that I’m doing my best and fighting hard. And win decisively. That’s basically what I’m after.”

After the jump, Chris Leben talks to Fighters Only about the two week turnaround between his TUF 11 Finale fight and this one.

Follow MMAConvert

Fight Cards

Bellator 163: McGeary vs. Davis

Event Date: November 4, 2016
Broadcast: Spike

UFC Fight Night 98: Dos Anjos vs. Ferguson

Event Date: November 5, 2016
Broadcast: TBD

Bellator 164: Koreshkov vs. Lima

Event Date: November 11, 2016
Broadcast: Spike Sports

UFC 205: Alvarez vs. McGregor

Event Date: November 12, 2016
Broadcast: Pay-per-view, Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Pass

Bellator 165: Chandler Vs. Henderson

Event Date: November 19, 2016
Broadcast: Spike TV

UFC Fight Night 99: Mousasi vs. Hall 2

Event Date: November 19, 2016
Broadcast: TBD