“Super” Sage Northcutt Set To Face Shinya Aoki This Month At ONE:165 In Tokyo

Later this month, Sage Northcutt (12-3) will return to the ONE Championship cage to face Pride FC and Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki (47-11) at ONE:165 in Tokyo.

While this is not ONE’s first trip to Japan, this may be the most monumental. The card will include an all star lineup and consists mainly of MMA bouts. But, among these MMA bouts, one match stands out drastically to longtime MMA fans and newcomers alike.

Preceding the 170-pound co-main event submission grappling title fight, and the headlining 135-pound kickboxing bout between Superlek Kiatmoo9 and K-1 Japan’s Takeru Segawa, Northcutt versus Aoki will fulfill the featured bout slot on the card.


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Following a successful stretch with the UFC, Northcutt made the jump over to ONE Championship, but his debut did not go as planned. The multiple time Karate champion fell victim to a first round knockout courtesy of Cosmo Alexandre that left him requiring an extensive nine-hour surgery, following just a 29-second fight.

The recovery led to Northcutt putting his career on hold for a four-year period of time, but just last May, he made his return to active competition with a bang.

Following a slight scare when he got dropped by a jab in the early moments of his bout with Ahmed Mujtaba at ONE Fight Night 10 in Colorado, Northcutt was able to lock up a crafty submission from his back and finish things in the very first round.

After getting sent to the canvas, Northcutt played intelligent defence from the bottom guard position, holding his opponent tight while attempting to nullify any strikes from the top. Eventually, Mujtaba made an effort to stand up out of the American’s guard, but this opened the opportunity for Northcutt to grab a hold of an ankle and secure the heel hook submission.

Now, Northcutt will hope to keep his momentum rolling when he steps in the cage versus Shinya Aoki, who will be making his 59th professional MMA appearance since the start of his career in 2003.

Over the last 20 years, Aoki has faced stiff competition accross many banners such as DEEP, RIZIN, Shooto, PrideFC, Dream, Strikeforce, Bellator, and K-1. He even put his grappling prowess on display versus some of the most legendary Jiu-Jitus champions of all time in Marcelo Garcia and Roger Gracie.

Aoki has never been one to shy away from intense competition. Since his ONE debut in 2012, he was squared off with tough contenders such as Mikey Musumeci, Kade Ruotolo, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Ben Askren, and Garry Tonon, to just name a few.

In what is planned to be the last fight of his career, Aoki will face another tough competitor in Northcutt. But, with Aoki’s level of grappling specialization, creative submissions, and a 75% overall finish rate, Northcutt will have to be on his toes at all times when in the cage with this dangerous warrior.

ONE:165 is set to go down on January 28th from the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. The PPV broadcast will be available at www.watch.onefc.com. The card will go live at 5 p.m. JST (Local) / 3 a.m. ET / 12 a.m. PT.


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