The world’s largest martial arts organization has added another marquee name to its ever-growing roster of elite athletes.
On Thursday, 29 November, ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong announced that Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama would make his debut in The Home Of Martial Arts in 2019.
The Korean-Japanese icon, also known as Choo Sung-Hoon, will compete in the welterweight division, which currently has Sweden’s Zebaztian “The Bandit” Kadestam as its World Champion.
Sityodtong announced Akiyama would make his debut at an event to be determined next year, before returning to action in the organization’s first trip to Seoul, South Korea. That event, ONE: HOME OF HEROES, is scheduled to take place on 20 December 2019.
Before his mixed martial arts career, “Sexyama” competed as a judo black belt in international competitions.
He won a gold medal at the 2001 Asian Championships representing South Korea, and then top honors at the 2002 Asian Games flying the Japanese flag.
He made the transition to mixed martial arts rules in 2004, and competed in some of the world’s largest and most prestigious live events promoted by K-1, DREAM, and UFC.
He won the Hero’s 2006 Light Heavyweight Grand Prix on his way to building a professional record of 14-6 (2 NC).
He also became renowned for participating in unforgettable battles, which won him numerous “bout of the night” awards during his career.