Sityodtong Highlights ONE 165 Press Conference

Sityodtong Highlights ONE 165 Press Conference

  • MMA News
  • janvier 26, 2024
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On Thursday, January 25, ONE Championship got fight week rolling in Tokyo with a press conference for ONE 165. The huge card will air live on global pay-per-view on Sunday, January 28. It is a star-studded lineup that ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong was rightfully lauding.

Noting his respect for other promotions in the region, such as K-1 and Rizin, Sityodtong broke down why this event means so much to him. In part, it is due to his own heritage. He cited that he believes ONE can bring the bushido culture back to the country and capture the past magic of Pride. 

“I believe ONE Championship is the right organization, in partnership with Rakuten and all of our partners, to really make a big, big push into Japan using these Japanese superstars and working together with the Japanese superstars in rallying Japanese honor and glory for martial arts. This is the real meaning of me coming back to Japan. It’s a very personal meaning; maybe some of you know or not, my grandmother’s side was Samurai blood, so this is something very personal for me,” Sityodtong said.

One of the marquee bouts is a lightweight MMA scrap between Shinya Aoki and Sage Northcutt. It is a contrast between the two athletes in and out of the ring, and they are at opposite stages of their careers. Sityodtong said this matchup will end in one form or fashion and wants the Japanese fanbase to support Aoki as his career winds down.

“This fight will not go the distance. Either Shinya will submit Sage, or I think Sage will end up knocking Shinya out. This is going to be a classic old lion versus young lion. And also, this might be Shinya’s very last fight. So, Japanese fans all over Japan, please support your Japanese legend in his toughest battle. Shinya is 40 years old and still going strong, but Sage is just beginning. He’s just starting his career. He wants to be a world champion in ONE. He has all the talent and ability. This is going to be a very dangerous fight for Shinya,” Sityodtong commented.

But all eyes will be on the main event. Superlek Kiatmoo9 will defend the ONE Flyweight Kickboxing World Championship against Takeru Segawa. It is a true meeting between top strikers, but another will be watching from the outside.

The main event originally was a spot for Rodtang Jitmuangnon. Sityodtong clarified that no matter the result, he sees a triangle of matches between the three flyweight stars. If true, 2024 will be an amazingly entertaining year with multiple matches between the superstars of striking.

“Rodtang wants to fight Takeru. And a rematch between Superlek and Rodtang in Muay Thai is definitely happening as well. So, no matter the result, I think there’s a really interesting potential trilogy for Takeru and Superlek, Takeru and Rodtang, but also Rodtang and Superlek,” Sityodtong said.

ONE 165 airs live on Sunday, January 28. The action begins at 3 a.m. EST/12 a.m. PST. The event is available via global pay-per-view at watch.onefc.com for $39.99.

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