Two longtime rivals will finally settle their differences on March 26.
A matchup pitting Shinya Aoki against Yoshihiro Akiyama has been finalized for ONE Championship’s upcoming ONE X event, MMA Fighting’s Damon Martin confirmed Wednesday following an initial report by 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.
ONE X is scheduled to take place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, 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.