ONE Championship added four exciting mixed martial arts bouts to the ONE 165: Rodtang vs. Takeru card. It now looks like the Jan. 28 event will light up Tokyo, Japan, with a star-studded cast of contenders.
As revealed by the promotion on Monday, two strawweight MMA bouts will help provide clarity to the jam-packed list of contenders. Third-ranked contender Hiroba Minowa will battle fourth-ranked Gustavo Balart while second-ranked Bokang Masunyane is set to square off against rising star Keito Yamakita.
Minowa is looking to stem the tide against the surging Balart, who is on a three-bout winning streak. Meanwhile, after getting back in the winner’s column, Masunyane will try to put the first blemish on Yamakita’s perfect record.
With the upcoming title rematch between Jarred Brooks and Joshua Pacio scheduled for ONE 166 on Mar. 1, the two victors in Tokyo will set themselves up to be considered the next contenders for the gold.
Flyweight MMA contenders Danny Kingad and Yuya Wakamatsu will also perform under the bright lights of Ariake Arena to stake their claim at title contendership.
Kingad, ranked No. 2 in the division, will return after his impressive win over Eko Roni Saputra in February. He hopes to keep his momentum up against Wakamatsu, who put away Xie Wei inside the first round this past July.
Atomweights won’t be denied at ONE 165 either, as two Japanese starlets will try to dazzle in their own right and move up in the MMA division.
Itsuki Hirata will try to get back to winning ways after dropping a decision loss to Ham Seo Hee in March, but she’ll have to take out a renewed Ayaka Miura to do so. The 33-year-old stopped China’s Meng Bo in November to assert herself as one of the strongest grapplers at strawweight, and she now moves down in weight, where her strength could be even more valuable.
ONE 165 airs live from Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday, Jan. 28.
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