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Akiyama’s manager arrested for stealing $140k from him

We’ve heard the story time and time again… Yet it continues to repeat itself. Usually involving a friend or family member turned  management — turned corrupt.

According to, UFC fighter Yoshihiro Akiyama’s manager has recently been arrested for theft of over $140,000 from his (claimed) friend and client.

In 2008, Yoshihiro Akiyama wrote in a blog about his former best friend and manager and some shady dealings that went down.  According to Akiyama, the two became best friends, then business partners.  Akiyama trusted his manager with his entire bank, and entrusted him all his sponsorship and fight dealings.

Allegedly, in February/March of 2008, manager Sawayama Tarou took money five times from the account that held Akiyama’s fight money earnings, taking around 13550000 yen (approximately US $140,000). Akiyama noticed in May of the same year when he went to withdrawal money for a new home, and went to the police about it.

Needless to say, the two parted ways.

In 2009, Akiyama was successful in a civil suit and proceeded with a criminal complaint.  Little had been heard about the outcome of this until today, when the Sankei Shimbun published a report stating Sawayama was arrested on an embezzlement charge related to Akiyama.  He was picked up in Osaka, Japan and will face charges in an unknown location.

According to the police, Sawayama was stealing Akiyama’s fight money, and they caught him using it for a credit card payment.

The police are currently investigating Sawayama for other potential crimes.

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