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Yoshihiro Akiyama: UFC 100′s New Guy

(Photo courtesy of

The UFC’s most epic event of the year isn’t really the time or place to trot out unfamiliar faces from regional leagues. And so we have another lonely edition of The New Guys, with only one fighter on the UFC 100 lineup who’s never competed in the UFC before. The good news is, he’s one of Japan’s biggest MMA superstars, and could make a serious dent in the UFC’s rising middleweight division. So without further ado…

?Experience: 12-1 record with 2 no-contests (10 wins by first-round stoppage), with multiple appearances in K-1 HERO’s, K-1 Dynamite!!, and DREAM. Holds notable victories over Denis Kang, Melvin Manhoef, and Kestutis Smirnovas. His only official loss came in his second MMA match against heavyweight kickboxer Jerome LeBanner, who significantly outweighed him. Akiyama most recently defeated Masanori Tonooka via armbar at DREAM.6 last September.

Will be fighting: Alan Belcher (14-5, 5-3 UFC)

Lowdown: He’s the man that Japanese MMA fans love to hate. Thanks to his Korean ethnicity and string of athletic controversies, Akiyama has played the role of heel for most of his career in Japan, and has parlayed his villain role into a great deal of fame. Prior to entering MMA, Akiyama was a champion judoka, taking gold medals for Japan in the 2001 Asian Championships and 2002 Asian Games. At the 2003 World Judo Championships, he was accused of greasing his gi, but cleared of the charges. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the last time he was accused of greasing. An ass-whupping of Kazushi Sakuraba at K-1 Dynamite!! 2006 — see the 4:22-4:56 mark of this video — was changed to a no-contest after Sakuraba complained that he couldn’t hold onto Akiyama during the fight, and it was discovered that Akiyama used body lotion before the match.

His official YouTube channel shows us that he’s starred in a crapload of commercials in Asia, and he can also fill arenas with his crooning. His fans refer to him as "Sexyama." According to this profile, he’s been training with Yushin Okami, he compares his fame in Japan to Chuck Liddell‘s in the U.S., and sees his signing with the UFC as like entering the Major Leagues in baseball. But will he strike out in his Octagon debut, like Denis Kang before him? (Alan Belcher was also responsible for that bit of hype-smashing, at UFC 93 in January.) Check out some of his fights below and let us know what you think…

(Akiyama vs. Manhoef)

(Akiyama vs. Kang)

(Akiyama vs. Katsuhiko Nagata)

Cagepotato Comments

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whitey- July 7, 2009 at 7:54 am
too bad he's gonna get his ass kicked by a Mississippi Coast boy!
UFC fan- July 6, 2009 at 11:11 am
Jeffro Says:
Mon, 07/06/2009 - 05:27

How the fuck is UFCFan not banned yet. Isnt he the reason why you made accounts to begin with.

By the way, the dude in the picture is way to sexy for the UFC."

NO actually they made accounts so dildos like YOU couldn't pretend to be someone else and have a conversation with yourself. which is to bad cause you are the only one who wants to hear what you have to say. you will notice dildos like COOL are gone.
As for banning me..PLEASE why don't you whine some more like a bleeding cunt, it is fun to watch you cry like the pussy you are.
On top of that you think that yellow cheating cocksmoker is sexy...seriously does anyone give a fuck what you think? NO.
Goog- July 6, 2009 at 6:01 am
I don't know or care who this guy is, but I'm really tired of closing these fucking rollovers for this fag movie.
Jeffro- July 6, 2009 at 5:27 am
Ha! Mayhem is getting paid. Cant blame the guy. I just hope he will still be able to kick ass.

How the fuck is UFCFan not banned yet. Isnt he the reason why you made accounts to begin with.

By the way, the dude in the picture is way to sexy for the UFC.
Chri534.- July 6, 2009 at 3:09 am
KidDinomite- July 6, 2009 at 1:08 am
Where is Jason 'Mayhem' Miller when you need him? Now that's a guy we need in the UFC
Cosmin- July 5, 2009 at 11:18 pm
lookin forward to this one.
831 Son- July 5, 2009 at 9:52 pm
Sheps- July 5, 2009 at 9:36 pm
Akiyama cheated against one of the most loved mixed martial artists in the world, Sakuraba. so he can go fuck himself really. The greasy arsehole
Endocat- July 5, 2009 at 9:07 pm
man this site is full of haters
Takun- July 5, 2009 at 8:12 pm
Yushin Okami...thats who he'll end up like, long uneventful decisions...
Killer Bee- July 5, 2009 at 8:11 pm
Wow, that was extremely uncalled for UFC fan...
I personally don't mind Akiyama, but from those highlights he seems entertaining to watch. It it adds variety to the UFC, that's all I care.
UFC fan- July 5, 2009 at 7:28 pm
This yellow turd wont be anything more than a curtain puller. He won't be shit.
AussieJosh- July 5, 2009 at 5:59 pm
I wish Yoshihiro Akiyama the very best!
Jay Smith- July 5, 2009 at 4:57 pm
@ d0zer
Franklin is no longer fighting @ middleweight, but I like the way you think.

This dude seems aaiight, but the octagon has a way of making aaiight fighters look like sucky ones.
Derly- July 5, 2009 at 4:15 pm
WTF! That video with K. Ferg needs to be EVERYWHERE! Why wasn't that around when the casual fans still believed Fergie was the greatest ever?

P.S. Wanna send me the rest of that ipecac?
831 Son- July 5, 2009 at 3:35 pm
@ Chri534. Nice find thats pretty tight.
Sheps- July 5, 2009 at 2:01 pm

GSP learnt from the best
MethLabTechnician- July 5, 2009 at 1:43 pm
"sees his signing with the UFC as like entering the Major Leagues in baseball" Unless Joe Silva throws him a bunch of cans and not curveballs, I see his career in the octagon going very poorly. Because like baseball, Dana and Co. seem to run with the one, two, three strikes your out in the ol' fight game.
Dubbayoo- July 5, 2009 at 12:52 pm
It's uncomfy to wear a buttoned suit while seated. Make yourself comfortable, Akiyama.

And look, a blinged out suit that's sharp, and not a used-car-salesman-that-almost-submitted-Machida-douchebag-looking suit. CP, note that nowhere in this message did I say Tito's name. Shit. Oh well.
asdf- July 5, 2009 at 12:25 pm
Man I'm praying that Akiyama does well in the UFC. I know he cheated and all but I gotta admit that I'm an Akiyama nuthugger.
Judo Im Right- July 5, 2009 at 12:15 pm
I hope he does well, so someone can represent Judo now that Karo has developed all of those mental and pain killer problems. Nothing is better than seeing a nice fluid application of judo. Even though he lost the fight, the highlights from Hiromitsu Miura's fight with Carlos Condit are sweet to watch. That was a hell ofa fight.

And then watch YeahBee's throw highlights. The best
Bare Grappler- July 5, 2009 at 11:06 am
War Kestutis Smirnovas! Is it too much to ask to get some Lithuanians in the UFC? They are good at something other than Basketball. Valentinus Golubovskis is another good fighter. So is Jordanas Poskaitis with only one loss by heel hook. A lot of good standup guys in Lithuania. Get on it UFC and let's see Bruce Buffer have to work!
BackbaconBilly- July 5, 2009 at 11:06 am
This is not the event for non-ufc fighters!! this should be for the best of the best the ufc has to offer, is this the BEST the ufc could offer? hardly!
LukeTheDuke- July 5, 2009 at 11:01 am
If Akiyama does well in the UFC along side Kang there could be a seriously hyped up rematch.