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Sexyama returning to MMA at ONE: Legendary Quest on June 15th

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The former K-1 Hero’s light heavyweight Grand Prix winner and UFC veteran will return to the cage after almost four years away from MMA.

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Akiyama vs Mina Lili Troncale-USA TODAY Sports

Another UFC veteran will look to make their ONE Championship debut in 2019. This time around, however, it’s not so much a fighter leaving one promotion for another, as it is a longtime veteran looking to make a big comeback. The Singapore-based promotion has announced that their June 15th ‘Legendary Quest’ fight card will play host to the return of former K-1 Hero’s Grand Prix champion Yoshihiro Akiyama.

The world-class Judoka was a fan favorite for years on the Japanese MMA fight scene before eventually moving to the UFC. His debut in the Octagon was marked by a narrow split decision over Alan Belcher. But, although he continued fighting for the Zuffa MMA promotion for another five years, ‘Sexyama’ only found victory one more time in the UFC.

While he never officially announced his retirement, in the time following his last loss – against Alberto Mina in 2015 – he largely appeared to have left the sport behind to focus on his modeling career and other business endeavors. However, late in 2018, ONE revealed that they had signed the now 43-year-old fighter.

And now he has a debut date and opponent. Sexyama is set to face former ONE welterweight contender Agilan Thani in mid-June. The 23-year-old ‘Alligator’ has put together an 8-3 record, with seven wins by stoppage. His only two previous losses came to Ben Askren and Zebaztian Kadestam, before dropping his most recent fight to Kiamrian Abbasov back in December of last year.

Akiyama vs. Thani is expected to co-main the fight card, under an atomweight Muay Thai bout between Stamp Fairtex and Alma Juniku. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and updates as the event approaches.