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ONE 165 Staff Picks

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The first month of 2024 concludes for MMASucka staff picks.

ONE 165 will take place on Sunday, January 28th from the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan. This comes as ONE Championship’s return to the capital city for the third time in company history and the first since ONE: Century in October of 2019. Four preliminary fights will begin at 3:00am ET (midnight PT) on ONE’s various social media platforms including Facebook and YouTube. The main card will take place at 4:30am ET (1:30am PT) on pay-per-view.

Stay tuned here at MMASucka for ONE 165 results.

FIGHT ACTION

Six mixed martial arts bouts will be included in tomorrow’s staff picks. Although not in the main or co-main slot, Shinya Aoki and Sage Northcutt will clash in the lightweight division (170 pounds).

40-year-old grappling great Aoki is set to make the final walk of his MMA career as he looks to snap a two-fight knockout skid and secure his first win since April of 2021. A former DREAM, ONE, and Shooto Champion with victories over veterans like Joachim Hansen (x2), Gesias Cavalcante, Caol Uno, Eddie Alvarez, and Tatsuya Kawajiri, the longtime competitor will go down as one of the greatest lightweights in history. Aoki’s opponent, eight-fight UFC competitor Northcutt, gets the most established opponent of his professional career. Following a knockout loss to Cosmo Alexandre and a resulting surgery due to broken facial features, the Evolve MMA talent returned following a near-four-year hiatus in May of last year by submitting Ahmed Mujtaba in 39 seconds.

Although not included in our staff picks, two Championship fights will take place in the main and co-main event. Defending ONE Flyweight Kickboxing Champion Superlek Kiatmuu9 will take on K-1 veteran Takeru Segawa in the main event while 21-year-old Kade Ruotolo attempts to defend his ONE Lightweight Submission Grappling Title in the co-main event opposite Norway’s Tommy Langaker. Additionally, highly touted athletes Yoshihiro Akiyama and Nieky Holzken will square off in a special rules super fight at a catchweight of 187.25 pounds.

Find our staff picks and predictions for Aoki versus Northcutt and the five additional MMA fights at ONE 165 further below.

STAFF PICKS

MMASucka staff picks are composed of four of the world’s leading mixed martial arts organizations: the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the Professional Fighters League (PFL MMA), ONE Championship (ONE FC), and Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS).

  • UFC picks will compose main card fights ranging from four to six matchups per event.
  • PFL MMA picks are to be determined as card structures will likely change following last year’s merger with Bellator MMA.
  • ONE FC and DWCS picks will feature all MMA fights from the event with a minimum of three matchups.

The individual who picks the most victorious fighters by the end of 2024 will have a choice between receiving a custom-made championship belt from ProAmBelts or a detailed chain from Championship Chains. Staff picks in 2023 was won by Ben Jamieson with a record of 300-148.

Who are the MMASucka staff picking to win at ONE 165?


RECORDS AFTER UFC 297:

1. Frazer Krohn: 12-2
2. Julio Monteros Jr.: 11-3
3T. Wesley Riddle: 9-5
3T. Nate Freeman: 9-5
5T. Jeremy Brand: 8-6
5T. Michael DeSantis: 8-6
7. Andrew Benjamin: 6-3
8. Casey Cooper: 4-5
9. Lukas DeWitt: 1-4

*Note – not all staff pick for every event*


Hiroba Minowa (13-4), -110
vs.
Gustavo Balart (11-4), -120

STRAWWEIGHT DIVISION
– 125 LBS – 56.7 KG –

Jeremy Brand: Balart via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Minowa via Split Decision
Michael DeSantis: Balart via Split Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Minowa via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Minowa via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Balart via Split Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Minowa via Split Decision

Staff picking Minowa: 4
Staff picking Balart: 3


Bokang Masunyane (9-1), -200
vs.
Keito Yamakita (8-0), +160

STRAWWEIGHT DIVISION
– 125 LBS – 56.7 KG –

Jeremy Brand: Yamakita via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Yamakita via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Yamakita via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Yamakita via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Yamakita via Round 2 TKO
Nate Freeman: Masunyane via Split Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Yamakita via Round 3 TKO

Staff picking Masunyane: 1
Staff picking Yamakita: 6


Danny Kingad (15-3), -150
vs.
Yuya Wakamatsu (16-6), +120

FLYWEIGHT DIVISION
– 135 LBS – 61.2 KG –

Jeremy Brand: Kingad via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Kingad via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Kingad via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Wakamatsu via Split Decision
Frazer Krohn: Kingad via Unanimous Decision
Nate Freeman: Kingad via Split Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Kingad via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Kingad: 6
Staff picking Wakamatsu: 1


Itsuki Hirata (6-2), -205
vs.
Ayaka Miura (12-5, 1 NC), +165

WOMEN’S ATOMWEIGHT DIVISION
– 115 LBS – 52.2 KG –

Jeremy Brand: Hirata via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Hirata via Unanimous Decision
Michael DeSantis: Hirata via Unanimous Decision
Andrew Benjamin: Hirata via Unanimous Decision
Frazer Krohn: Miura via Round 2 SUB
Nate Freeman: Hirata via Unanimous Decision
Julio Monteros Jr.: Hirata via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Hirata: 6
Staff picking Miura: 1


Garry Tonon (8-1), -160
vs.
Martin Nguyen (15-6), +130

FEATHERWEIGHT DIVISION
– 155 LBS – 70.3 KG –

Jeremy Brand: Nguyen via Round 2 TKO
Wesley Riddle: Tonon via Round 1 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Tonon via Round 2 SUB
Andrew Benjamin: Tonon via Round 2 SUB
Frazer Krohn: Tonon via Round 1 SUB
Nate Freeman: Tonon via Round 1 SUB
Julio Monteros Jr.: Tonon via Round 1 SUB

Staff picking Tonon: 6
Staff picking Nguyen: 1


Shinya Aoki (47-11, 1 NC), +260
vs.
Sage Northcutt (12-3), -335

LIGHTWEIGHT DIVISION
– 170 LBS – 77.1 KG –

Jeremy Brand: Northcutt via Unanimous Decision
Wesley Riddle: Aoki via Round 1 SUB
Michael DeSantis: Northcutt via Round 2 TKO
Andrew Benjamin: Aoki via Round 1 SUB
Frazer Krohn: Northcutt via Round 3 TKO
Nate Freeman: Northcutt via Round 1 TKO
Julio Monteros Jr.: Northcutt via Unanimous Decision

Staff picking Aoki: 2
Staff picking Northcutt: 5

ONE 165 FEATURED IMAGE:

ONE 165

ONE 165 featuring two Championship fights, the retirement MMA bout of Shinya Aoki, and more will take place Sunday, January 28th from the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan (photo credits to ONE Championship).

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Wesley Riddle is a 29-year-old writer residing in Raleigh, North Carolina and from Harrisonburg, Virginia. Watching the draw between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard from 2011 sparked his interest in the sport of mixed martial arts. He created "All That MMA" on Twitter, which came to birth in December of 2013. He would join with MMASucka in the later quarter of 2016. Some of Riddle's hobbies include music, playing golf, watching horror movies, and working with non-profit organizations throughout his community. You can follow him on Twitter at @AllThatMMA or @WesleyRiddleMMA, and on Instagram @WesleyRiddle.

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