BREAKING! Takeru Against Rodtang Five-Round Mega Fight Announced for ONE 165 on January 28 in Tokyo, Japan

Nov 29, 2023
The long-awaited dream fight between Japan's and Thailand's finest is on the horizon.

Striking superstars, Takeru and Rodtang, will meet in the ring on January 28 at ONE 165 in Tokyo, Japan at the Ariake Arena. The promotion just held a press conference, announcing the fight plus other details. The show marks ONE Championship's first return to Japan since ONE: Century in 2019. It will also be ONE's first numbered card since December 2022. Surprisingly this fight is booked as a five-round kickboxing fight, as opposed to the typical three for non-title fights.


Takeru, 32, is a former three-division K-1 champion. He signed with ONE Championship in May, but it has been quiet since then, with many fans wondering when the Japanese kickboxing ace will make his promotional debut. He was last seen in June, when he stopped Bailey Sugden in the last second of their ISKA world title fight at the Muay Thai Grand Prix in Paris, France.

After his fight against Tenshin Nasukawa in 2022, Takeru has parted ways with K-1 to explore free agency in search of suitable opponents elsewhere. A perfect opportunity for both Takeru and ONE Championship to team up for another push into the profitable Japanese market. Takeru will enjoy the backing of popular streaming service Abema, who will distribute his fights as pay-per-views in Japan, and guarantee him a minimum payout of $750,000 per fight. 

Rodtang on the other hand, has enjoyed global stardom, as he's risen to the spot of ONE Championship's new poster child. Similar to Takeru, his never-back-down fighting style has quickly earned him fans around the world, which resulted in him winning the Muay Thai Flyweight title against Jonathan Haggerty in 2019. His recent setback against Superlek aside, he's looked flawless during his ONE tenure. While focusing mostly on Muay Thai, he's no stranger to kickboxing rules, having made his debut against Tenshin Nasukawa himself, losing a razor-close extra-round decision.

The other fight announced was former top UFC prospect Sage Northcutt against Japanese MMA legend Shinya Aoki.