Yoshihiro Akiyama Proves Age Is Just A Number During Impressive Run On Netflix’s ‘Physical: 100’

Yoshihiro Akiyama celebrates his knockout victory over Shinya Aoki at ONE X

Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama’s goal is always to be the top dog, and that’s what he was looking to accomplish during his time on Netflix’s reality competition series “Physical: 100.”

The Japanese-Korean MMA icon – also known as Choo Sung-hoon – entered the running with victory on his mind, but he had to beat 99 other elite athletes and fitness influencers in a series of extreme physical challenges, or “quests,” as it was called on the survival show.

When he made his first appearance in episode one, Akiyama’s peers were clearly excited by his presence, and in episode four, the contestants voted him to be one of the 10 team leaders.

After steering his charges to a pair of epic wins in the ‘Moving Sand Challenge’ and the ‘1.5-Ton Boat Challenge,’ the MMA icon was noticeably proud. In fact, he talked about how the team’s success felt just like achieving victory inside the Circle.

He said:

“The feeling was similar to winning a match. I was so pleased. We had great teamwork. I am so thankful they followed my lead.”

Despite Akiyama’s heroic efforts, he would fall just short of his ultimate goal.

The 47-year-old was eliminated in a game entitled ‘The Punishment of Sisyphus,’ where he had to push a 100-kilogram boulder up a hill in a battle against three other top sportsmen.

Still, “Sexyama” made it into the final 20 against a stacked field comprised of South Korea’s greatest athletes, and he was content with his efforts. 

Akiyama said:

“I wanted to win and survive until the end. It’s such a shame. My muscles and strength were fine, but my stamina and energy dropped, and I couldn’t push anymore. It was really tiring, but also, so much fun!

“It’s a pity, but this is a game and that’s the fun of it. I’m satisfied.”

Yoshihiro Akiyama Doing It For Middle-Aged Men Everywhere

At 47, Yoshihiro Akiyama was years – and even decades – older than many of his peers competing on “Physical: 100,” but he earned their respect because of his courage and endurance.

That age disparity was the Japanese-Korean icon’s motivation to push himself to his limit on the survival show, as he wanted to prove that middle-aged men can hang with their youthful counterparts and still achieve great things.

Before he was ordered to smash the statue that signified his exit from the competition, “Sexyama” dropped his final message of encouragement to those who are at a similar point in their lives. 

He said:

“I’m 48 in Korean age this year, and I wanted to show middle-aged men around the world that I can go head-to-head with younger athletes and beat them. That’s why I applied. I wanted to win.

“Still, ranking in the final 20 out of 100, I gave the other middle-aged guys watching just a little hope and courage. Thanks so much to ‘Physical: 100’ for giving me that role. 

“Us middle-aged men can do it. We still got it. That’s all.”

More in Features

Shamil Gasanov Oh Ho Taek ONE Fight Night 18 31
Danielle Kelly Jessa Khan ONE Fight Night 14 11
Mayssa Bastos Kanae Yamada ONE Fight Night 20 13
Rambolek Chor Ajalaboon Soner Sen ONE Friday Fights 51 28
Lara Fernandez Yu Yau Pui ONE Fight Night 20 15
Elias Mahmoudi Edgar Tabares ONE Fight Night 13 28
Suablack Tor Pran49 Craig Coakley ONE Friday Fights 46 23
Aaron Canarte Akbar Abdullaev ONE Fight Night 12 5
Christian Lee becomes the new ONE Welterweight World Champion
Scottish Muay Thai fighter Amy Pirnie
Jarred Brooks Joshua Pacio ONE 166 12
Hiroba Minowa Gustavo Balart ONE 165 77