While Netflix’s ‘Physical: 100‘ has welcomed many well-known fitness enthusiasts, few are as popular as Choo Sung-hoon, AKA Yoshihiro Akiyama. Famously known as “Sexyama,” the Mixed Martial Artist captured the attention of the viewers and his competitors from the moment that he first stepped foot into the Korean reality show. Many cast members were honored to play against him and expressed their admiration for the star.
Besides, several aspiring fighters were eager to face off against the experienced artist, and Choo was ready to prove that he was not a player to be underestimated. Needless to say, many are eager to know more about the mixed martial arts(MMA) fighter and his current whereabouts. Well, we are here to explore the same!
Who is Choo Sung-hoon?
Born on July 29, 1975, in Osaka, Japan, Choo Sung-hoon is a Japanese Korean MMA Fighter specializing in Judo. He started learning this particular martial art at three and was also trained in other forms of combat at a young age. Given his dual nationality, Choo has represented both South Korea and Japan in various international events. As it turns out, he is a fourth-generation Japanese of Korean descent whose family had settled in the island country during the Imperial Japanese occupation of Korea.
During the 2001 Asian championships held in Mongolia, Choo won the gold medal for his Judo skills. After acquiring Japanese citizenship in the same year, he represented Japan during the 2002 Asian Games hosted by South Korea and won another gold medal. In the 2003 World Judo Championships, Choo was surrounded by controversy as three opponents accused him of wearing slippery gear. As a result, the Japanese martial artist wore a reserve uniform and lost his next two matches.
Further investigation reports stated that the athlete did not seem to be taking advantage, and the slippery nature of his clothes was apparently due to a combination of Osaka’s humidity and the detergent used to clean the Judo fighter’s clothes. In 2004, Choo entered the field of MMA and quickly became a fan favorite. In fact, he has participated in multiple tournaments over the years, including K-1 Premium Dynamite, Yarennoka, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and ONE Championship.
The athlete, once again, found himself swamped in controversy after his victory against Kazushi Sakuraba during the K-1 Premium 2006 Dynamite. This was mainly due to the latter claiming that his opponent was slippery during the fight. Investigation revealed that Choo had liberally used lotion before his fight, though he claimed that it was not to make him slippery but to treat his dry skin. Hence, his victory was reversed, and the fighter was suspended from the event. Nevertheless, Choo was welcomed back by K-1 Hero in October 2007.
Where is Choo Sung-hoon Now?
As of writing, Choo Sung-Hoon continues to be an active MMA fighter and has also branched out into business. The athlete is the Director of Sung 1975, an apparel brand that mainly operates online though it has scheduled one event for February 18, 2023. Moreover, the reality TV star has a YouTube channel with over 54 thousand subscribers, and he often posts videos related to food, martial arts, and fitness. Choo’s Instagram page has an even more impressive following of over 432 thousand admirers.
March 2009 saw Choo marrying Shiho Yano, a renowned model he started dating in January 2007. The happy couple welcomed their daughter Choo Sarang on October 24, 2011. The father-daughter duo adore each other and starred in ‘The Return of Superman,’ a well-known South Korean reality show. On the occasion of his daughter’s 11th birthday, the MMA fighter was happy to share his love for her with the world.