UFC

Returning UFC star donates $48,000 to Korean tragedy

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Japanese UFC star Yoshihiro Akiyama has made a big charitable donation to the grief-stricken families of the Sewon ferry disaster.

Akiyama, nicknamed 'Sexyama' by fans, donated the funds on Friday, after discussing with his family on how best to help some of those affected by the tragedy.

Akiyama and his family are very famous in Korea, he and his daughter (Choo Sarang) star in the Korean show 'Superman is Back'  and his wife, Yano Shiho is a model.

The 38 year-old made his name in MMA in Japanese promotions, Hero and Dream before making the switch to the UFC in 2009, where he is currently a disappointing 1-4.

Despite his poor record, current fame in Korea and young daughter, Akiyama is focused on returning to the UFC and earlier this week he tweeted that he will return to the UFC at some point this year.

It's been over two years since his last outing in the UFC, where he suffered a defeat to Jake Shields at UFC 144, in the Tokyo Dome.

A lot has changed since then, for both the UFC and Akiyama, but the parties still have an interest in working with each other and his growing popularity in Korea can only be on his side.

The UFC has made several trips to Asia over the years, but they've never hosted an event in Korea. While no venues are currently booked in the country, they do have Fight Nights in China and Japan coming up in August and September, which is where we're most likely to see Akiyama return.

Akiyama was considered one in a long list of Japanese imports that failed in the UFC, including Yushin Okami and Hatsu Hioki (despite their decent records), but he's certainly found success outside of the octagon.

By the time he returns, if he does return, it would've been five years since Akiyama last won a bout, which was his debut at UFC 100 against Alan Belcher. Since then he's lost to the retired Chris Leben, Michael Bisping, title challenger Vitor Belfort and the recently cut Jake Shields.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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