ONE Championship continued its signing spree earlier this week, scooping up Asian sensation Yoshihiro Akiyama, who hasn’t seen action since parting ways with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) back in late 2015.
“I’m thrilled to announce that JMMA Korean-Japanese Legend Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama (otherwise known as Choo Sung-Hoon) has officially signed with ONE Championship!” ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong wrote on social media.
Akiyama (14-6, 2 NC) made his Octagon debut at UFC 100 in July 2009, capturing a hotly-contested split decision victory over middleweight stalwart Alan Belcher. After dropping his next three fights, “Sexyama” cut down to welterweight, but still only managed to go 1-2.
That said, the 43 year-old judoka was (and still is) a huge star overseas, thanks to his stellar run for both K-1 and DREAM, disposing of longtime veterans Melvin Manhoef and Denis Kang, among others. It will be interesting to see in what capacity he’s used for ONE as the promotion continues to branch out across Asia.