Former UFC Fighter Yoshihiro Akiyama Appears on Squid Games-Inspired Reality Series

Current ONE Championship Fighter Yoshihiro Akiyama Looks To WIn $250,000 On A South Korean Netflix Competition.

Yoshihiro Akiyama
Yoshihiro Akiyama (Left and Right)(Images via Instagram and YouTube @Akiyamachoo and @Netflix Asia)

Yoshihiro Akiyama is returning to reality television. 

‘Sexyama’ has appeared on several reality TV shows, including 2 Days & 1 Night and Now, Follow Me. The former UFC fighter is adding to his filmography resume by competing in a new Netflix show, Physical: 100.

The South Korean competition is inspired by the popular scripted TV series ‘Squid Games.’ In Physical: 100, people of different sizes, ages, and genders go toe-to-toe in physical challenges to determine who is the ‘perfect human.’ Akiyama is joined by various contestants, including other MMA fighters, bodybuilders, YouTubers, models, Olympians, and more. 

Each episode features a new challenge where a certain amount of contests will be eliminated, with the difficulty increasing as the show goes on. The winner will be awarded 300,000,000 South Korean Won, or $250,000. The first episode aired on January 4, and four episodes have currently been released on Netflix.

Watch the official trailer for Physical: 100 below:

Yoshihiro Akiyama plans to continue fighting

Although Yoshihiro Akiyama has a bright future in television and movies, he doesn’t plan on retiring from MMA anytime soon. The 47-year-old returned to ONE Championship in March 2022 after a two-year layoff. He took on his longtime rival Shinya Aoki and emerged victorious with a second-round TKO. After winning at ONE X, ‘Sexyama’ had this to say on The MMA Hour about his future in MMA:

“I will definitely go until I’m 50. That is my current goal, depending on my physical [ability]. If you calculate twice a year, I have four years left in me, so that’s more than eight [fights]… I want to fight a champion. I’m not there yet but I want to keep on fighting so I can challenge.”

Before joining ONE, Akiyama made a name for himself in the UFC after a phenomenal run with K-1 HERO’S. He made his debut in 2009 with a split-decision win against Alan Belcher, which is considered one of the best middleweight fights of all time. The Tokyo native then went on a four-fight skid, losing to Chris Leben, Michael Bisping, Vitor Belfort, and Jake Shields.

Akiyama followed his losing streak with one win and one loss before joining ONE. The 47-year-old lost his promotional debut but bounced back with a first-round finish against Sherif Mohamed. He followed up that win by defeating Aoki. 

Published on January 31, 2023 at 10:54 pm
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