After several back-and-forth exchanges and a heated confrontation, Japanese MMA legends Shinya Aoki and Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama have agreed to fight at ONE X in Singapore on Saturday, 26 March.
Aoki, who holds black belts in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and judo, is considered the best MMA fighter of the modern era. He is a four-time ONE Lightweight World Champion who owns a 47-9 (1 NC) professional record and finds himself on a four-fight winning streak.
Now, Aoki – the current #3-ranked lightweight contender – will look to make it five in a row off his iconic countryman’s expense.
“I hated you all the time.” Aoki vs. Akiyama finally came true! What did the two talk about in an exclusive interview …Aoki’s reacts to his fight with Sexyama in a translated quote via Twitter
On the other side, Akiyama is a pop culture marvel who decimated the sport with his gold medal-winning judo brilliance and striking devastation. The legendary man known as “Sexyama” is a K1 HERO Light Heavyweight Grand Prix World Champion with 15 professional victories in MMA competition.
Akiyama, at age 46, will enter this contest as the veteran, and he will be eight years the elder of Aoki. However, “Sexyama” does not seem fazed, as he mentioned in a veiled message on his Twitter account yesterday.
I’m old. I can’t move. But wait!Akiyama’s translated quote on Twitter
Shinya Aoki vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama Has Been Teased For Over A Year
Shinya Aoki and Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama, as well as Japanese MMA fans, have been yearning to see this dream match for years. However, it truly entered the global spotlight in 2021.
Following his first-round submission victory over Filipino hero Eduard Folayang, Aoki expressed his desire to fight his legendary compatriot in Japan.
“Tobikan Judan” then doubled down on that sentiment at the Road to ONE: ‘Sexyama’ Edition show in Tokyo last October. After his grappling match, Aoki grabbed the mic and demanded that Akiyama tell him why he declined a previous offer to fight.
Akiyama, who was doing commentary during the event, responded:
“The reason I declined was that I tore a muscle. Along with the doctor’s orders, there were other factors that went into declining the offer. And for me, it was also very disappointing. I believe a martial artist should be standing in the ring and putting on fights. But unfortunately, after many tests, I was in a position where I couldn’t do anything but decline.”Akiyama to Aoki at Road to ONE: ‘Sexyama’ Edition
Since that confrontation, the Japanese legends’ fight had been teased multiple times. But now, Akiyama will finally face Aoki in what promises to be an iconic event at ONE X.