Yoshihiro Akiyama has been forced out of UFC 128, Dan Miller Steps in to face Nate Marquardt
The earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan forces Akiyama off the “UFC 128: Shogun vs. Rua” fight card on March 19. Dan Miller has stepped in to face Nate Marquardt.
MMADiehards.com first reported the news early Saturday morning.
UFC president Dana White let fans know via his twitter account on Friday that Akiyama was safe from the natural disaster.
“Akiyama and his family are safe,” White tweeted. “He will be there for UFC 128.”
It turns out he won’t be. Traveling in and out of Japan is almost impossible in the wake of the disaster.
The UFC released a statement on their official website confirming the news.
“Yoshihiro Akiyama will not be able to participate at UFC 128 due to the tragedy in Japan,” said White in the announcement.
“New Jersey native Dan Miller proves once again that he will fight anyone, anywhere, anytime by agreeing to step up from the prelims to face Nate Marquardt,” added White. “Marquardt has long been a top ten ranked middleweight and Miller jumped at the opportunity to face him.”
Miller was scheduled to face Nick Catone in a preliminary fight on the UFC 128 undercard. It’s unclear if Catone will be removed from the card altogether or if the UFC will find him a replacement.
UFC 128 takes place on March 19 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and is headlined by the light heavyweight title bout between champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Jon Jones.