Two longtime rivals will finally settle their differences on March 26.
A matchup between Shinya Aoki and Yoshihiro Akiyama was finalized in ONE Championship’s upcoming ONE X, MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin announced Wednesday. This follows an initial report from Ariel Helwani .. The promotion billed the contest as a “Japanese MMA Legends Fight” which will be contested at 170 pounds.
Aoki memorably called out Akiyama with a dramatic promo this past October following a grappling match at a Road to ONE event in Japan, which can be seen below.
Aoki (47-9, 1 NC) is a two-time ONE lightweight champion. The 38-year-old submission specialist has won four consecutive bouts, most recently scoring a first-round armbar finish over Eduard Folayang at ONE on TNT 4 in April 2021.
Affectionately nicknamed “Sexyama,” the 46-year-old Akiyama (15-7, 2 NC) has not competed since defeating Sherif Mohamed via first-round knockout in February 2020. A longtime MMA veteran, Akiyama is best known for a seven-fight UFC run that saw him cash three ‘Fight of the Night’ bonuses and face off against the likes of Michael Bisping, Vitor Belfort, and Chris Leben.
ONEX will be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, Kallang in Singapore. The event is headlined by an atomweight title clash between Angela Lee and Stamp Fairtex, and also features a special rules between former UFC champion Demetrious Johnson and Muay Thai champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon.