Yoshihiro Akiyama respects Shinya Aoki as a fighter but not as a human as a guy

Yoshihiro Akiyama respects Shinya Aoki as a fighter, but not “as a human, as a guy”

Japanese mixed martial arts legends Shinya Aoki and Yoshihiro Akiyama will finally cross paths this weekend at ONE Championship’s “ONE X.”

The March 26 fight card in Singapore brings two of Japan’s most beloved combat sports practitioners together for the very first time in their historic careers which when combined, span nearly 40 years of competition between the two.

Akiyama, also known as “Sexyama,” began his professional fighting career in 2004 and since amassed a record of 15 wins and seven losses.  American fans first became routinely familiar with Akiyama after he made his UFC debut with a split decision win over Alan Belcher at UFC 100 in 2009.

While “Sexyama” did not have the most successful career with the UFC, he fought some of the most notable fighters the promotion has ever had, including Michael Bisping, Vitor Belfort, Chris Leben, and Jake Shields.

Aoki, 47-9, burst on to the scene a year prior to Akiyama in 2003, and made a name for himself competing in promotions such as Dream, K-1, Strikeforce, PRIDE, Bellator, and then eventually ONE Championship.

Aoki called Akiyama out at the recent Road to ONE event, much to the disliking of the now 46-year-old “Sexyama.”

“To be honest, I really respect Shinya Aoki as a fighter, but as a human, as a guy, I don’t respect him at all,” Akiyama recently said in an interview with ONE Championship officials.

The two men will finally get to settle the score on Saturday, part of ONE’s 10-year-anniversary fight card.

“This is a chance to let him shut up,” Akiyama said. “Let Aoki shut up because he’s been very noisy to me for 14 years. So this is the time.”

Fans from around the world can watch the ONE X: Grand Finale pay-per-view event on Watch.ONEFC.com or their local pay-per-view provider on Saturday, 26 March at 8 p.m. Singapore Time (SGT)/8 a.m. Eastern Time (ET).

[How to Watch ONE X Live On 26 March]

ONE X: Part II will broadcast live and free on Watch.ONEFC.com, ONE’s YouTube channel, and ONE’s Facebook page at 5 p.m. SGT/5 a.m. ET.

Also, ONE X: Part I will broadcast live and free on Watch.ONEFC.com, ONE’s YouTube channel, and ONE’s Facebook page at 1 p.m. SGT/1 a.m. ET.

ONE XSaturday, 26 March 2022

GRAND FINALE

ONE Women’s Atomweight World Championship(C) Angela Lee vs. (1) Stamp FairtexAtomweight: 105 LBS – 115 LBS

Special Rules Super-FightRodtang Jitmuangnon vs. Demetrious JohnsonFlyweight: 125 LBS – 135 LBS

ONE Flyweight World Championship(C) Adriano Moraes vs. (2) Yuya WakamatsuFlyweight: 125 LBS – 135 LBS

Mixed Martial Arts(3) Shinya Aoki vs. Yoshihiro AkiyamaLightweight: 155 LBS – 170 LBS

Muay ThaiEduard Folayang vs. John Wayne ParrLightweight: 155 LBS – 170 LBS

ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Championship(C) Superbon Singha Mawynn vs. (1) Marat GrigorianFeatherweight: 145 LBS – 155 LBS

PART II

ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Championship(C) Nong-O Gaiyanghadao vs. Felipe LoboBantamweight: 135 LBS – 145 LBS

ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Championship(C) Capitan Petchyindee vs. (2) Hiroki AkimotoBantamweight: 135 LBS – 145 LBS

Mixed Martial Arts(3) Ham Seo Hee vs. (2) Denice ZamboangaAtomweight: 105 LBS – 115 LBS

Mixed Martial ArtsItsuki Hirata vs. Jihin RadzuanAtomweight: 105 LBS – 115 LBS

Mixed Martial Arts(1) Kim Jae Woong vs. (4) Tang KaiFeatherweight: 145 LBS – 155 LBS

PART I

ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix Championship Final(4) Chingiz Allazov vs. (3) Sitthichai SitsongpeenongFeatherweight: 145 LBS – 155 LBS

Submission GrapplingReinier de Ridder vs. Andre GalvaoMiddleweight: 185 LBS – 205 LBS

Muay ThaiNieky Holzken vs. Sinsamut KlinmeeLightweight: 155 LBS – 170 LBS

Mixed Martial Arts(5) Lito Adiwang vs. Jeremy MiadoStrawweight: 115 LBS – 125 LBS

Mixed Martial Arts(3) Stephen Loman vs. Shoko SatoBantamweight: 135 LBS – 145 LBS

Mixed Martial ArtsAmir Khan vs. Ryogo TakahashiFeatherweight: 145 LBS – 155 LBS

Mixed Martial ArtsKang Ji Won vs. Paul ElliottHeavyweight: 225 LBS – 265 LBS

Submission GrapplingMei Yamaguchi vs. Danielle KellyAtomweight: 105 LBS – 115 LBS

Mixed Martial ArtsRyuto Sawada vs. Senzo IkedaStrawweight: 115 LBS – 125 LBS

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