Ex-UFC star Sage Northcutt books return at ONE Championship 165, takes on Shinya Aoki in retirement fight

Sage Northcutt makes return at ONE Championship 165 takes on Shinya Aoki retirement fight

Former UFC welterweight, Sage Northcutt will begin next year back inside the cage, taking on veteran Japanese grappler, Shina Aoki at a ONE Championship 165 event on January 28. in Tokyo, as the latter prepares for his slated retirement fight. 

Northcutt, 27, most recently turned in a blistering first round heel hook submission win over Ahmed Mujtaba in ONE Championship’s debut on North American soil back in May in Colorado, earning a Performance of the Night bonus.

The victory came as Northcutt’s sophomore outing under the banner of the Chatri Sityodtong-led banner, having suffered a devastating 29-second KO loss to Brazilian kickboxing ace, Cosmo Alexandre back in 2019, suffering multiple facial fractures in the first round loss, sidelining him for over three years.

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As for Aoki, the veteran Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu icon has been sidelined himself from mixed martial arts since November of last year, dropping his second consecutive loss in the form of a first round knockout loss to Saygid Izagakhmaev, which came off the back of a TKO loss to compatriot, Yoshihiro ‘Sexyama’. January’s outing with Northcutt is expected to come as Aoki’s final in mixed martial arts competition.

Sage Northcutt takes on Shinya Aoki at ONE Championship 165

ONE Championship confirmed the pairing of Sage Northcutt and Shinya Aoki overnight on their official social media, which followed the confirmation of a stunning bout between Rodtang Jitmuangnon, and Takeru Segawa.

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“IT’S ON,” ONE Championship posted on their official X account. “Japanese legend Shinya Aoki faces off with American superstar Sage Northcutt on January 28. In Tokyo.

12-3 as a professional, over the course of his naive mixed martial arts career, former top-prospect, Northcutt has dropped losses to just the above-mentioned, Alexandre, and during his Octagon tenure, Mickey Gall, and Bryan Barberena.

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Making his Octagon debut back in 2015, Northcutt turned in UFC victories over the likes of Cody Pfister, and Thibault Gouti, before scoring a second round KO win over Zak Ottow in his final appearance back in 2018, before making a move to ONE Championship.

47-11(1) as a professional, veteran grappling phenom, Aoki has competed for the likes of DEEP, Shooto, Pride, DREAM, Strikeforce, Bellator, Rizin, and ONE Championship during his storied career. And has recorded wins over the likes of George Sotiropoulos, Caol Uno, Eddie Alvarez, Mizuto Hirota, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Kazushi Sakaraba, and Eduard Folayang to name a few. 

Who wins at ONE Championship 165: Sage Northcutt or Shinya Aoki?