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"Bakiyama!" - ONE Championship asks if Sexyama is the real-life Baki Hanma

ONE Championship fighter Yoshihiro Akiyama (left) bears an uncanny resemblance to anime character Baki Hanma (right). (Images courtesy: ONE Championship, @akiyamachoo on Instagram)
ONE Championship fighter Yoshihiro Akiyama (left) bears an uncanny resemblance to anime character Baki Hanma (right). (Images courtesy: ONE Championship, @akiyamachoo on Instagram)
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Duane Lucas Pascua

ONE Championship recently posted a photo on Instagram featuring Japanese MMA legend Yoshihiro 'Sexyama' Akiyama posing side-by-side with a statue of anime icon Baki Hanma. Needless to say, fans of both MMA and the anime/manga franchise went into a frenzy.

"Is Sexyama the real-life Baki Hanma? ๐Ÿ˜ณ @akiyamachoo"

There is an uncanny resemblance between 'Sexyama' and the titular character of 'Baki the Grappler'. From their muscles to their trademark red shorts to their hairstyles, it's as if someone made a live-action version of the anime and cast Akiyama as the main actor. Like MMA legend Mike Goldberg would say: "Everything else is virtually identical."

Fans have had some interesting comments. One Instagram user named @daniielbenitez said what's on everyone's mind in one word:

"Bakiyama!"

Another user by the name of @blvckuzmaki had an interesting take:

"Isn't it supposed to be the opposite? Is Baki the real Sexyama?"

@princeaether_ adds:

"This is way too cool ๐ŸคŸ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿฝ"

Though he's already 46-years old, Akiyama is a shoo-in to play Baki Hanma in a live-action adaptation, should they decide to make one. The man has the superstar looks, real skill and fighting technique to bring this beloved icon to the silver screen.


Yoshihiro Akiyama plans to fight in ONE Championship until he is 50

After his incredible win at ONE X against rival Shinya 'Tobikan Judan' Aoki, Yoshihiro 'Sexyama' Akiyama plans to stay a bit longer in the sport. The 46-year-old Japanese fighter of Korean descent recently sat down with MMA journalist Ariel Helwani on his YouTube show The MMA Hour.

One of the talking points of the interview was Akiyama's intention on continuing his fighting career in ONE Championship until he retires at 50 years old. Speaking through a translator, 'Sexyama' had this to say:

"I will definitely go until I'm 50. Yes, that is my current goal depending on my physical. So yeah, if you calculate, twice a year and I have four years left in me, so that's more than eight [fights]."

When asked if he has any particular fighter in mind to face next, here's what the former UFC fighter had to say:

"Yes, so 170 and the other weight [185] as well, considering. I want to fight the champion. I'm not there yet, but I want to keep on fighting so I can challenge."

Imagine if Akiyama, who is a few years shy of 50, wins the ONE Championship belt and then retires to play as Baki Hanma on the big screen. That would skyrocket his iconic status to heights none of his peers have ever reached. Here's to hoping that we get to see both.


Edited by John Cunningham
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