Asian MMA legend Shinya Aoki is ready to get back into the win column after a knockout loss to Yoshihiro Akiyama at ONE’s 10th Anniversary ONE X event in March. Before that, the former lightweight world champion was on a three-fight winning streak.
As he nears a return to the circle, Aoki appeared to be on a collision course with ‘Super’ Sage Northcutt, who teased his own return after more than three years on the shelf due to injury. devastating on its last outing.
While speaking to ONE Championship, Aoki discussed potential opponents, and the Japanese icon casually confirmed that he would be up for a trilogy fight with former four-time world champion Eddie Alvarez.
“We fought twice, but that was a long time ago. Yes of course why not. I am ready to fight him at any time. It would be a pleasure to fight with him.
As ‘Tobikan Judan’ mentioned, he and ‘The Underground King’ fought twice before their ONE Championship stint.
Their first meeting was on New Year’s Day 2008 at Dynamite!! 2008, an MMA and kickboxing event co-promoted by K1 and DREAM. Fighting for the WAMMA Championship, Aoki scored the submission via a heel hook just 92 seconds into the fight.
Nearly four years later, the two would reunite under the Bellator banner. It would be another first-round finish, but this time it would be Alvarez who would emerge victorious, tonight the series with a knockout of Shinya Aoki near the halfway point of the first round. Over 10 years later, is it time to see the long-awaited fight trilogy?
Shinya Aoki is ready to welcome “Super” Sage Northcutt into the circle
It’s been over three years since we last saw Sage Northcutt compete in mixed martial arts. In the photogenic fighter’s promotional debut, “Super” suffered a crushing first-round knockout against Cosmo Alexandre. The knockout left Northcutt with eight facial fractures, requiring hours of surgery to repair.
Far from that night, Northcutt is ready to press the reset button on his ONE Championship career, and legend Shinya Aoki is the one who wants to welcome him back to the big show. Regarding the fight, Aoki said:
“I’ve said in the past that I was looking for Sage Northcutt, and I never go back on that. Yeah, let’s do it.
The two were originally scheduled to meet at ONE on TNT IV in April 2021, but the bout was scrapped after Northcutt pulled out, still reeling from the long-term effects of COVID-19. Although no official date or location has been confirmed, the odds of an imminent showdown between ‘super’ Sage Northcutt and the Japanese MMA icon seem to be increasing by the day.
Watch some of Shinya Aoki’s best moments in the video below: