Akiyama won't fight in the tournament. I'm sorry to announce this especially to his fans because they must be excited see him in the middleweight GP. We discussed until the last minutes and had this conclusion. I hope everybody understand his condition.
Akiyama injured his knee and his nose in Yarennoka. After the fight on NYE, his doctor told his injuries would be cured by April, so he was training for the tournament. In April, he got a punch on his nose and bled a lot during a training even though he wore headgear and 16 oz gloves. As a result of an examination he found out his nose was fractured, however, he kept training. He believed he could fight in some way or other because the nose wasn't swollen and stopped bleeding. He was going to fight without telling about his nose if his doctor didn't stop him. Although, his doctor warned him that his fight would be stopped whenever he got a single punch and started bleeding. Akiyama showed press the diagnosis and his x-ray.
Sasahara was asked if he would fight from the 2ND round.
Sasahara: I am not thinking about that.
Akiyama: I'm not going to fight from the 2ND round. I won't take an offer even if I get.
My nose was almost healed from the damage from Yarennoka, then I got a punch to the exactly same spot. I am told it takes 3 weeks to be cured. I apologize to my fans, sponsors and all other people supporting me from the bottom of my heart. I really wanted to fight in GP. I have my goal and dream now and 3 fighters who I want to fight now fight in the GP. I will be ready to fight in June and won't show up in DREAM2.