A 170-pound matchup between the returning UFC alum, ‘Super’ Sage Northcutt and sport veteran, grappling standout, Shinya ‘Tobikan Judan’ Aoki has been booked for ONE on TNT IV on April 18th. — with Northcutt making his return to the sport following a two-year layoff.
Hoping to score his first victory since his transition to the Chatri Sityodtong led banner, Northcutt made his ONE Championship bow in May of 2019, dropping a brutal one-punch knockout loss to the veteran kickboxer, Cosmo Alexandre inside thirty-seconds at ONE Championship: Enter the Dragon.
Aoki, a two-time ONE Championship lightweight champion has won his last three consecutively, most recently knocking back James Nakashima at ONE Championship: Unbreakable in January with a first round rear-naked choke. ESPN MMA reporter, Ariel Helwani was first to report the news of the pairing.
24-year-old striker, Northcutt currently holds an 11-3 professional record, having featured under the UFC’s banner eight times during his promotional stint from 2015 to 2018.
The Team Alpha MMA trainee suffered a devastating knockout loss to Alexandre at the May 2019 event, requiring surgical repair afterwards after he sustained a whopping eight facial fractures. The defeat snapped a three-fight winning-run Northcutt had brought with him from the UFC.
Northcutt had previously announced his intentions to compete at ONE Championship’s 155-pound featherweight limit for his next outing, however, his April 28th. matchup with Aoki will take place at 170-pounds.
A sport veteran and pioneer in the Far East, 37-year-old grappling sensation, Aoki holds a 46-9 professional record, and is regarded as one of the most decorated fighters Asia has produced. With a whopping thirty separate submission successes littered on his professional record, Aoki has held gold under the banners of ONE Championship, DEEP, DREAM, and Professional Shooto Japan and has claimed first-place in ADCC tournaments in Japan as well as winning a Rickson Gracie invitational.
An eighteen-year professional veteran, Aoki has bested the likes of Akira Kakuchi (x2), George Sotiropoulos, Joachim Hansen (2), Katsuhiko Nagata, Eddie Alvarez, Mizuto Hirota, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Rich Clementi, Antonio McKee, Kazushi Sakuraba, and Eduard Folayang to name a few.