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Steve Cofield

UFC adds elite middleweight 'greaser' Akiyama

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

'Grease-Gate' will never go away. Sorry we just had to tweak our readers! The UFC has signed a guy who was infamous in Japan for a 2005 incident where he was accused of being slippery. Yoshihiro Akiyama is a very good addition to the UFC middleweight ranks. The 33-year-old Korean cut his teeth in the world of judo and has been adding to his game with each fight in major organizations like Dream and K-1 going 12-1 with wins over Melvin Manhoef and Denis Kang. He had a win over Kazushi Sakaraba but it was ruled a no-contest because Akiyama greased:

Akiyama was using Olay Quench Body Lotion Extra Dry Skin that contains vaseline and glycerine. FEG did an experiment and found out that this particular lotion doesn't make the body slippery immediately after applied to the skin, but when water (sweat) was added, it becomes extremely slimy.

K-1 called the action unintentional based on the fact that Akiyama applied the lotion in full view of cameras. Akiyama is a huge star in Korea which made him attractive to Nike. After the greasing incident, Nike became the target of incredible ire from the Japanese. The hatred for Akiyama grew even more after a 2007 New Year's Eve fight against Kazuo Misaki. Akiyama was knocked silly by a kick but he contended that he had a hand on the ground. He complained to Yarennoka and got the organization to rule it a no-contest. Misaki talked trash in the ring that night intimating that Koreans were weak.

Watch "illegal" soccer kick by Misaki (9:20 mark):

Akiyama is ranked No. 13 in the world by Bloody Elbow's Middleweight Meta-Rankings, No. 10 by MMAWeekly and No. 12 by WAMMA.

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