He's one of the most hated athletes in Japan. Yoshihiro Akiyama (Chu Sung-hoon), a fourth generation Korean, only added more fuel to the Japanese fans' fire by announcing his marriage to Japanese supermodel Shiho (pictured). According to Sports by Brooks, both Akiyama and Shiho used their websites to indicate that they had tied the knot.
Hatred for Akiyama has grown over the years with incidents of cheating and what Japanese fans feel was cowardice. Akiyama, born in Osaka, Japan, was nabbed for "greasing" in a 2006 fight against legendary Japanese fighter Kazushi Sakuraba. This was after getting caught for doing the same thing during the 2003 Asian Judo championships. He also filed a protest (illegal kick while on the ground) after losing to Kazuo Misaki. Following the fight, Misaki ripped on Koreans in the ring, saying the Japanese have heart (1:07 mark).
Akiyama is also one of the first big name Asian fighters to be stolen away by the UFC. He is expected to make his UFC debut in July or August.
- Yoshihiro Akiyama