Shinya Aoki and Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama, arguably two of MMA’s greatest Japanese fighters, have agreed to meet at ONE X on 26 March at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
They are the most recent addition to the fight card commemorating ONE Championship’s tenth anniversary.
This major matchup between “Tobikan Judan” and “Sexyama” has been a long time coming; fans have been begging for it. However, it took some confrontations and verbal battles for the fight to materialize, and it appears that a score will finally be settled next month.
Both competitors have impressive accolades that demonstrate why they are so beloved within the martial arts community.
For starters, Aoki has an incredible career record of 47-9-1 and a four-fight win streak over notable contenders such as Eduard Folayang and Honorio Banario. With black belts in judo and jiu-jitsu, the #3-ranked lightweight is also a four-time ONE Lightweight World Champion.
Akiyama, the veteran of the two athletes, is a six-time judo gold medalist and K1 HERO Light Heavyweight Grand Prix World Champion with a record of 15 professional MMA victories.
While he has grappling skills that rival Aoki’s, “Sexyama” is also known for his dangerous striking, making this an exciting fight wherever the battle ends. In his latest bout versus Sherif Mohamed at ONE: KING OF THE JUNGLE, Akiyama ended the fight with a KO punch within minutes of the first round.
As a RIZIN and DREAM veteran, Aoki is no stranger to hard-hitting battles and has called out Akiyama multiple times.
A fiery confrontation between the two occurred at the Road to ONE: “Sexyama” Edition event last October, when Aoki grabbed the microphone after his grappling battle and demanded that “Sexyama,” who was on hand to provide analysis, explain why he had previously refused a fight request.
“The reason I declined was that I tore a muscle,” he said. “It was very disappointing. I believe a martial artist should be standing in the ring and putting on fights. But unfortunately, I was in a position where I couldn’t do anything but decline.”
After years of anticipation, fans will be treated to what could be one of the most memorable fights of the decade at ONE X.