Japanese stars Aoki, Hirata, Okami and Wakamatsu added to ONE 163 on November 19
Four massive MMA fights were officially added to ONE 163 on Saturday, November 19.
It was previously announced that Japanese star Hiroki Akimoto will defend his ONE Bantamweight Kickboxing World Title against Thai striker Petchtanong Petchfergus in the main event.
And on Monday, ONE Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong confirmed a quartet of matchups that will feature several of Japan’s biggest names – Shinya Aoki, Yushin Okami, Itsuki Hirata and Yuya Wakamatsu.
Japanese legend and No. 5-ranked lightweight contender Shinya Aoki will take on No. 4-ranked Saygid Izagakhmaev in a clash between two of the most dominant grapplers in the division.
As a former ONE Lightweight World Champion, ‘Tobikan Judan’ will be the toughest test of Izagakhmaev’s career so far, bringing a fearsome ground game that could combat towering grappling and high control. Russian level.
The Japanese judo and BJJ black belt is one of the most powerful submission specialists in MMA history, while Izagakhmaev is eyeing division king Christian Lee after a pair of decisive victories in his two first promotional appearances.
An impressive victory for either would keep them in the standings – and in the world title conversation.
Middleweight icons Yushin Okami and Aung La N Sang will finally face off after teasing the battle for a long time.
The pair have respectfully called each other several times in the past, and now the fight will come to fruition on November 18.
“The Burmese Python” is a former two-division ONE World Champion, while Okami has made a name for himself as one of Japan’s most successful exports to North America.
For Aung La N Sang, it’s a chance to get back on track after a string of tough results, even though fans know he has the firepower to defeat any rival at his best.
Meanwhile, “Thunder” got his first ONE win over Agilan Thani last time out, but he will be pushed hard against an opponent who has been much more active inside the circle.
Itsuki Hirata and Ham Seo Hee will square off in the women’s atomweight division, with a potential shot at ONE World Women’s Atomweight Champion Angela Lee.
Hirata rebounded from her first career loss with a win over Lin Heqin in August, and Sityodtong said the popular Japanese athlete would challenge “Unstoppable” if she passed No. 2-ranked Ham.
However, the South Korean star will want to save Lee his own chance based on his perfect 2-0 ONE record, and he will bring his aggressive striking and vast experience to this game with ‘Android 18’.
Finally, former ONE Flyweight World Title challenger and current No. 3 contender Yuya Wakamatsu is aiming to bounce back against fellow South Korea heavy hitter Woo Sung Hoon.
The Tokyo-based slugger lost to division king Adriano Moraes in March, ending his five-game winning streak, but at 27, he still has plenty of time to earn another challenge.
On the other side, Woo had a successful ONE debut when he stopped Yodkaikaew Fairtex in February, but he gave up a decision to Windson Ramos in his last contest.
“Dynamic” knows a win over Wakamatsu would propel him into the top echelon of the flyweight division, but few can take on “Little Piranha” and emerge with their hands raised.
For more updates on ONE Map 163: Akimoto vs. Petchtanong, stay tuned onefc.com.