We can all breathe a sigh of relief because Yoshihiro Akiyama has been announced to fight at the UFC’s show in Japan on Sept. 20. It’s about time. I know what you guys are thinking, “Why does anyone care? The guy only won one split-decision in his UFC career and got trounced in the rest of his fights.” Yeah, I’m aware of that, jerk. But you want to know something? I couldn’t care less.
In my opinion, Akiyama has to be the unsung hero of the UFC. The man is a mega-star in Japan. He does reality television shows, he sings, he acts and then he throws punches at other dudes’ heads. He was even good enough at punching guys in the face to get recruited by the UFC. Even though Akiyama’s background is in Judo, the man is one heck of a crazy brawler. He stood toe-to-toe with Alan Belcher in his UFC debut and went to war. That scrap with Belcher is one of my favorite fights of all time. After that, Chris Leben exploited his gas tank and was able to get the best of him in the third round which has got to be one of the craziest finishes of all time.
Following that Leben fight, he continually got tougher fights. He would get knocked out, or suffer a beating, and then inexplicably get a tougher fight. It made no sense whatsoever. Did you even here Akiyama complain? Nope. Not once. He would just walk down the ramp, get on his knees and bow before the Octagon, and tried his best to win the fight. Chances are he’s going to lose, but I can’t wait to watch him fight. Welcome back, Akiyama.