Last-minute twist takes fighter’s record down a notchYashihiro Akiyama, who is known as Choo Sung-hoon in Korea, dropped to a career mixed martial arts record of 13 wins and two losses when he lost to Chris Leben at the UFC 116. Fighting in his second UFC middleweight bout, the Japanese-Korean fighter competed with both the Korean and Japanese flags emblazoned on his red trunks.
In his first bout since his UFC debut on July 11, 2009, Akiyama started off strong and appeared to be in control of his opponent through the first two rounds. But he seemed to tire as the match wore on.
Akiyama went into the third and final round with a clear lead and seemed poised for a win. But at the end of the round, Leben managed to pull off a shocking twist with a triangle choke that forced Akiyama to tap out with 40 seconds remaining in the match.
Akiyama is a fourth-generation Japanese-Korean and has represented both Korea and Japan at international judo competitions in the past. After growing frustrated with Korea’s system, in which officials favor judokas from their alma mater, Choo returned to Japan and acquired Japanese nationality in 2001.