In a blockbuster showdown scheduled for January 28, 2024, ONE Championship is gearing up for an electrifying event as two of the biggest stars in the striking world prepare to clash at ONE 165: Rodtang vs. Takeru. The highly anticipated card will see the return of the world's largest martial arts organization to Japan, featuring a headline flyweight kickboxing super-fight between the renowned ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Champion Rodtang "The Iron Man" Jitmuangnon and Japanese megastar Takeru Segawa.
The matchups for the event at Ariake Arena were officially confirmed by ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong during a press conference in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday.
Rodtang, a veteran of 16 electrifying bouts in ONE, has firmly secured his position at the top of the Muay Thai hierarchy, successfully defending his World Title five times since claiming the belt in August 2019. Despite a recent close decision loss to ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Champion Superlek Kiatmoo9 in September, Rodtang's undeniable skills and charismatic approach have solidified his status as a fan favourite.
His opponent, Takeru, considered one of the planet’s top pound-for-pound kickboxers, enters ONE as a hotly sought-after free agent. The multiple-time K-1 World Champion boasts an impressive 42-3 professional record, with 25 victories coming by knockout.
The Rodtang vs. Takeru clash is anticipated to deliver fireworks, with the Thai superstar known for his aggressive, all-action style, while the Japanese newcomer showcases prodigious skills and expertise in karate, promising an explosive and dynamic bout.
Adding to the excitement, ONE 165: Rodtang vs. Takeru will feature a compelling lightweight MMA battle between rising star Sage Northcutt and the respected veteran Shinya Aoki. This matchup symbolizes a clash between the new generation and the old guard, highlighting the best of both striking and grappling.
Northcutt, a karate prodigy who joined ONE in late 2018, has recovered from a setback in his promotional debut and is now eager to prove himself as a legitimate threat in the lightweight MMA division. In contrast, Aoki, a four-time ONE Lightweight MMA World Champion with nearly 60 professional bouts, brings a wealth of experience and a reputation as a feared ground fighter to the matchup.
Fans can anticipate high-stakes action, as the event promises to showcase the elite talents, confidence, and warrior spirits of the fighters involved, ensuring an unforgettable night of martial arts in the heart of Japan.