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ONE Championship has added one of the biggest names in Japanese and South Korean combat sports to its roster, as the Asian based promotion has announced it’s signed Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama.

Both ONE CEO Chatri Sityodtong and Akiyama himself recently confirmed the news via social media.

The 43-year-old Akiyama (14-6, 2 NC) hasn’t fought since 2015, when he lost via split decision to Alberto Mina at UFC FN 79. Akiyama went 2-5 during his run in the UFC, after establishing himself as one of the best middleweights in the sport, outside of the organization.

If you’re new to MMA, then you may be unaware that Akiayama, who was born in Japan but has South Korean parents, is a pretty big deal in the region, due to his accomplishments in Judo and MMA, as well as various appearances on television.

 

The signing comes not long after ONE announced that it plans to hold events in Japan next year.