Yoshihiro Akiyama is starring in a Korean reality TV show and everyone is talking about it. From the country that gave us Squid Game comes a similar looking show that features actual contestants instead of actors.
Unlike Squid Games no-one actually dies, or at least we hope they don’t. But at one stage Akiyama appears to accept a challenge to engage in a bare knuckle MMA fight with a fellow contestant:
So I am fccking OBSESSED with this new Korean show called #Physical100. It's basically like MTV The Challenge (@billygil ) meets irl Squid Games, with a sprinkle of American Gladiators. It's amazing. pic.twitter.com/ijntHZwqZr
— cool telly (@Telly2Putt) February 2, 2023
Akiyama is coming off a win over Shinya Aoki. That result really got he 47 year old’s career back on track and he was subsequently offered a fight with former lightweight champion Eduard Folayang.
Akiyama turned that fight down and we now know why. It seems the K-1 and UFC veteran has been busy filming this show in Korea, entitled Physical: 100, which is being broadcast on Netflix now.
Akiyama, or Choo Sung-Hoon as he is known in Korea, was born in Japan to a family of Korean immigrants. He speaks both languages fluently and has a large fanbase in both countries.
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The fighter who challenges Akiyama to an MMA fight is Dong Guk Shin who boasts a record of 3-5. He has lost his last four fights and would have no chance of getting matched with such a legendary opponent in a regular competition.
He is not the only mixed martial artist on the show. Sang Uk Kim who holds a more respectable sounding 7-2 record and is the former AFC interim welterweight champion is also one of the contestants.
Park Hyung Geunm who holds a 5-4 record, is also one of the contestants. The rest of the cast seems to be made up of a mixture of bodybuilders, wrestlers and YouTubers.
The winner will receive 300,000,000 won (approximately $250,000 USD) so we can understand why ‘Sexyama’ has decided to put his MMA career on the backburner for this. He was already a big fan favourite on Korea and appearing on this TV series won’t have done his popularity any harm at all.