Japanese UFC veteran Yoshihiro Akiyama returned to action for the first time in four-and-a-half years in the middleweight co-main event of ONE Championship: Legendary Quest on Saturday in Shanghai, China, suffering a decision loss to a man 20 years his junior, Agilan Thani.
“Sexyama” showcased his stellar judo ability early on, throwing Thani to the canvas with ease 20 seconds into the contest. Thani came back into the fight, landing several hard shots after conceding the throw and even managed to take the judo legend to the ground himself. Just before the final minute of the first, Akiyama suffered a low blow, taking close to the full allotted injury time before rejoining the fray. Before the end of the round, Thani scored a high-impact double leg takedown.
BOUT OF THE NIGHT CONTENDER— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) June 15, 2019
Malaysian sensation Agilan Thani scores the biggest win of his career in a seesaw battle against martial arts legend Yoshihiro Akiyama! #WeAreONE #LegendaryQuest #Shanghai #MartialArts pic.twitter.com/IL881Bv0gW
Thani dominated the early stages of the second round, landing a crisp jumping knee and continued to hammer home his dominance in the striking exchanges. Again, Thani managed to take Akiyama down with ease, rag-dolling him to the canvas on a number of occasions. Yet, Akiyama remained in the fray and began to have success with single, powerful punches in the closing exchanges of the round.
The third played out like the majority of the fight: with Thani dominating the boxing back and forth. In the final minute of the round, Akiyama landed a stunning spinning back fist that rattled the Malaysian fighter, but he saw out the remaining seconds to earn the decision victory.
This was easily the craziest Sexyama bout since his scrap with Leben. Not bad for a 43-year-old off of a four-year layoff. Our hero may not have won the decision, but he will always have our hearts. #LegendaryQuest pic.twitter.com/MPg03gpoaA— Kyle Johnson (@VonPreux) June 15, 2019
In the main event of the evening, ONE’s Super Series atomweight kickboxing and Muay Thai champion Nong Stamp (AKA “Stamp Fairtex”) retained her Muay Thai title after an ebbing and flowing bout with Australian teenage sensation, Alma Juniku. Stamp controlled the opening rounds of the contest before the 18-year-old took the momentum in the closing rounds, marching the tiring double champion down and landing powerful shots.
Check out the full results below:
Nong Stamp def. Alma Juniku via unanimous decision [Muay Thai]
Agilan Thani def. Yoshihiro Akiyama via unanimous decision
ChengLong Zhang def. Tyler Hardcastle via KO (punch) at 1:50 of R1 [Kickboxing]
Han Zi Hao def. Andrew Miller via TKO (referee stoppage) at 2:33 of R2 [Muay Thai]
Koyomi Matsushima def. Kwon Won Il by unanimous decision
Tarik Khbabez def. Anderson Silva by unanimous decision [Kickboxing]
Reinier De Ridder def. Gilberto Galvao by KO (knee) at 0:57 of R2
Chen Lei def. Anthony Engelen by unanimous decision
Fan Rong def Sherif Mohamed by TKO (strikes) at 3:50 of R2
Niu Kang Kang def. Eric Kelly by unanimous decision
Yoon Chang Min def. Trestle Tan by TKO (strikes) at 4:05 of R1
Itsuki Hirata def. Angelie Sabanal by submission (americana) at 2:59 of R1
Phoe Thaw def. Victorio Senduk by TKO (strikes) at 4:17 of R1