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Saturday, March 12, 2011
Yoshihiro Akiyama out of UFC 128

By Josh Gross
ESPN.com

Middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama has withdrawn from his UFC 128 bout set for March 19 against Nate Marquardt, a result of Friday's massive earthquake and tsunami that debilitated the 33-year-old fighter's home country of Japan.

New Jersey native Dan Miller (14-4) will step in for Akiyama (13-3) against Marquardt (30-10-2), UFC president Dana White said in a statement on UFC.com.

Miller, 29, was signed to fight Nick Catone at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on the same card as Akiyama-Marquardt. A new opponent for Catone has not been named.

Akiyama resides in Osaka, which was largely unaffected by the 8.9-magnitude earthquake. He and his family are safe, according to UFC officials.

The change lifts Miller to the pay-per-view portion of the card, where he joins his brother, lightweight Jim Miller (19-2), who welcomes Iranian UFC debutant Kamal Shalorus (7-0-2).

The event is headlined by Mauricio "Shogun" Rua's light heavyweight title defense versus Jon Jones.

Josh Gross covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com.