ONE Championship lightweight champion Shinya Aoki was set to fight Yoshihiro Akiyama in September, but the super fight was called off. This did not sit well with Aoki and he did not hesitate to call out 'Sexyama'.
Aoki participated in a grappling match during Road to ONE: 'Sexyama' Edition. The 'Tobikan Judan' took the microphone after his fight and demanded honest answers from Akiyama.
"Along with the doctor’s orders, there were other factors that went into declining the offer. And for me, it was also very disappointing. I believe a martial artist should be standing in the ring and putting on fights," Akiyama responded. “But unfortunately, after many tests, I was in a position where I couldn’t do anything but decline."
Check out the interaction below:
Akiyama apologized to Aoki for the inconvenience he caused. The 38-year-old fighter told Akiyama that he still had two months to prepare to take the fight.
'Sexyama' expressed that he still wants to compete and that Aoki will have to wait.
"I'll be frank. You don't have that much time left," replied Aoki. "Hey, no matter what's in front of me, I give it my all. No matter what, I stick to my beliefs and live life to the fullest."
ONE superfight facts
Aoki currently boasts a 47-9 professional MMA record and is on a four-fight winning streak. His last contest was the trilogy matchup with Eduard Folayang. He won via an armbar submission in the first round.
Meanwhile, Akiyama is now 46 years old and has a 15-7 record. The product of the renowned Jackson-Wink MMA stable had his last fight over a year ago in ONE Championship: King of the Jungle. 'Sexyama' won that contest via a first-round knockout.
ONE Championship has provided no updates about when the Aoki-Akiyama fight will happen. Nonetheless, the former ONE champion hopes it takes place before the end of the year.