ONE Championship signs UFC veteran Yoshihiro Akiyama

Yoshihiro Akiyama, ONE Championship
Image: The Idle Man

ONE Championship just got a whole lot sexier. Chatri Sityodtong, the chairman and CEO of the Singapore-based promotion, announced early Thursday morning that he’s signed UFC veteran Yoshihiro Akiyama — better known by his hilarious nickname “Sexyama.”

“I’m thrilled to announce that JMMA Korean-Japanese Legend Yoshihiro ‘Sexyama’ Akiyama (15-6) (otherwise known as Choo Sung-Hoon) has officially signed with ONE Championship,” Sityodtong announced on Twitter.

Ahead of this announcement, the growing belief was that Yoshihiro Akiyama had retired. Apparently, however, that is not the case.

The Korean-Japanese star last fought in November of 2015, when he gave up a decision to Alberto Mina in the UFC’s Octagon. In his next most recent fight, which occurred all the way back in September of 2014, he defeated Amir Sadollah by decision. Akiyama lost his four previous fights — albeit against top-flight opposition in Jake Shields, Vitor Belfort, Michael Bisping and Chris Leben. As Chatri Sityodtong says, he is 15-6 overall.

While nothing is certain just yet, it seems likely that Yoshihiro Akiyama competes in ONE Championship’s welterweight division, which has a limit of 185 pounds.

If he does compete in this division, he can look forward to battles with the likes of Agilan Thani, Daichi Abe, Luis “Sapo” Santos, Tyler McGuire, and newly minted champion Zebaztian Kadestam, who assumed the vacant throne shortly after former champion Ben Askren migrated to the UFC.

No debut date has been set for the UFC veteran, though the ONE’s March debut in Tokyo, Japan would seem to make a lot of sense.

How do you think Yoshihiro Akiyama will perform in ONE Championship?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/29/2018.