A mixed rules fight between Nieky Holzken and Yoshihiro Akiyama is among a trio of additions to the ONE 165 card. The two will face off in a three round fight that uses three different rulesets.
The first round will be fought under boxing rules. It is a sport that Holzken is already experienced in while Akiyama will effectively be making his debut.
The second stanza will be contested using kickboxing rules. Again Holzken should have the advantage as he has been competing in this sport for virtually his entire career.
Akiyama should me much more in his element in the third round. That will be MMA rules and this is a sport Holzken doesn’t appear to have any previous experience in.
Nieky Holzken 🇳🇱 wins this clash of striking legends, crumpling John Wayne Parr in Round 2! @niekyholzken @tntdrama @BleacherReport @BR_MMA @brlive #WeAreONE #ONEChampionship #ONEonTNT3 pic.twitter.com/x6YnpF6HPj
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) April 22, 2021
The card looks set to showcase several kickboxers. Marat Grigorian and Sitthichai Sitsongpeenong will fight for the sixth time in a catchweight bout that is set for 156.5lbs, very slightly over the promotion’s normal featherweight limit.
Two heavyweight kickboxers will also collide in Tokyo on January 28th. Rade Opacic has been matched with Iraj Azizpour and the winner could be in pole position for a shot at the vacant title.
Rade Opacic drops Guto Inocente with a BIG right hand! 👊
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As previously announced Rodtang Jitmuangnon is injured and will not be facing Takeru at ONE 165. In his place steps Superlek Kiatmoo9 who will be taking on the Japanese superstar at Ariake Arena on January 28th.
Rodtang and Takeru had been scheduled to clash in a five round non title bout. Superlek is the reigning flyweight kickboxing champion and his belt will now be on the line.
There have been persistent rumours that Rodtang is suffering from a hand injury. His replacement is the last man to beat him, Superlek claimed a decision win in a non title bout at ONE Friday Fights 34.
Meanwhile Takeru is the former K-1 bantamweight, featherweight and super featherweight champion and was propelled to super stardom after a kickboxing bout with Tenshin Nasukawa last year. That broke box office records in Japan and even though he lost it instantly established the the 32 year old a household name.
Shinya Aoki will finally fight Sage Northcutt on this card. The two lightweights were first scheduled to fight in 2021 but the American withdrew after contracting Covid-19.
Aoki is one of the most experienced fighters in the division. He is currently on the worst run of results in his 20 year career and has not won a fight since 2021.
Northcutt submitted Ahmet Mujtaba in 23 seconds at ONE Fight Night 10. It was his first win since 2018 and the American appears to have recovered from a damaging debut which saw him suffer serious facial injuries at the hands of Cosmo Alexandre.
He's BACK! "Super" Sage Northcutt 🇺🇸 submits Ahmed Mujtaba with a heel hook in 39 SECONDS! ⚡ @sagenorthcutt
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— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) May 6, 2023
In the strawweight division Keito Yamakita has been matched with Bokang Masunyane. The undefeated Japanese star will feel he is just one win away from securing a title shot.
Gustavo Balart probably has other ideas. The Cuban strawweight has won his last three and is entitled to believe he should be at the front of the queue if he can beat former champion Hiroba Minowa in Tokyo.
The other fight added to the card today is in the flyweight division. Yuya Wakamatsu rematches Danny Kingad, the two first fought in 2018 with the Filipino taking the win.
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) September 24, 2018
Japanese atomweights Itsuki Hirata and Ayaka Miura are set to collide at ONE 165. They have been matched together at the Ariake Arena on January 28th in a fight that is sure to provide plenty of local interest.
Miura lost her last two fights at strawweight. That prompted the former title challenger to drop down a division and she enjoyed immediate success, submitting Meng Bo at ONE Fight Night 16.
Success has been in short supply for Hirata recently. Her fight with Seo Hee Ham had to be rescheduled because she missed weight and when they did eventually meet at ONE Fight Night 8 the Korean won by decision.