ONE Championship Returns To Japan, Sage Northcutt Set


ONE Championship is headed back to Japan, and they are bringing Sage Northcutt with them.

The promotion confirmed that ONE 165: Rodtang vs. Takeru will take place January 28 from the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.

Along with a main event pitting flyweight Muay Thai champion Rodtang Jitmuangnon against Japanese kickboxing sensation Takeru Segawa, Northcutt will battle former champion Shinya Aoki.  “I am thrilled that ONE Championship has partnered with Rakuten Ticket, a blue-chip brand with a shared passion for innovation, to bring this massive event to Ariake Arena,” ONE CEO and chairman Chatri Sityodtong said. “ONE has the most passionate fans in the world, especially in Japan, where martial arts is steeped in its rich cultural history.

“Several of ONE’s greatest moments have taken place in Tokyo, and together with Rakuten Ticket and NSN, we can’t wait to usher in a new era with our return.”

ONE Main Event Features Title Fight

Rodtang is a 26-year-old from Thailand who has over 320 kickboxing matches to his credit. He holds a mark of 271-43-10 in Muay Thai but is coming off a loss to Superlek Kiatmuu 9 in September.

Prior to that, he had reeled off eight consecutive wins, including two title defenses.

Takeru owns a 42-3 mark in the sport and will be making his promotional debut. He has held titles in Krush, K-1, International Sport Karate Association and Kickboxing Grand Prix over the year.

“We are thrilled to partner with ONE Championship to bring world-class martial arts to Japan,” Joe Umemoto, President of Rakuten Ticket said. “This event partnership doesn’t just bring the world’s top athletes to Japan — it aims to create new ways to surprise and delight our customers and deliver innovative martial arts experiences to fans across the country.”

ONE Fighter Sage Northcutt Looking For Big Win

It has been a difficult road for Northcutt since leaving the UFC in 2018. He made his promotional debut a year alter, but was knocked out by Cosmo Alexandre.

From there, Northcutt was on the sidelines for four years, returning this past May to earn a 39-second submission win over Ahmed Mujtaba.

Aoki, meanwhile, is a pioneer of the sport, having competed in PRIDE and Strikeforce. However, he has not won since 2020, coming off a knockout loss to Saygid Izagakhmaev last November.

“ONE Championship is the world’s largest martial arts organization and to be involved in its return to Japan is a privilege for NSN,” said Joel Borras, chairman and President of NSN. In our commitment to bring together the best properties in the sports and entertainment industry, it is an honor to support this project together with Rakuten Ticket. We appreciate Chatri and his team for their trust and support on this project.”

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