Yushin Okami
Yushin Okami is all set to test the mettle of former two-division ONE titleholder Aung La N Sang at ONE 163. ONE Championship photo


  • Four Japanese MMA stars are set to compete on the main card of ONE 163
  • They will face top-caliber foes in separate matches
  • ONE 163 is set to happen on November 19

Japan holds a large portion in the rich history of mixed martial arts (MMA) as the nation has given birth to heaps of legendary promotions through the year and has provided the sport with a long list of extraordinary athletes from fearless strikers to elite submission grapplers.

Its invaluable contributions will be commemorated 32 days from now as four proud products of the well-entrenched Japanese MMA circuit will try to hoist their flag aloft on the main card of ONE 163, which is set to take place at the 12,000-capacity Singapore Indoor Stadium on November 19

Leading the star-studded cast is two-time ONE lightweight champion Shinya Aoki, who will square off with Saygid Izagakhmaev of Russia in a scheduled three-round bout.

Aoki has won four of his last five outings since relinquishing his possession of the gold-plated strap to Christian Lee in May 2019, defeating the likes of Honorio Banario, Kimihiro Eto, James Nakashima and Eduard Folayang.

However, the Japanese legend is coming off an upset loss at the hands of Yoshihiro Akiyama by way of second-round technical knockout this past March.

Meanwhile, Izagakhmaev—the protege of Khabib Nurmagomedov—has registered a pair of decisive victories in his first two appearances under ONE Championship.

Izagakhmaev's remarkable exploits have led to his entry into the Top Five of the talent-laden lightweight division, occupying the No. 4 seat in the rankings ahead of No. 5-rated Aoki.

The matchup seems to be a must-win for either man to keep them in the world title conversation.

Also joining Aoki at ONE 163 is Yushin Okami, who will take on former two-division ONE titleholder Aung La N Sang in a middleweight encounter.

Both Okami and Aung La N Sang have called each other out several times in the past, and on November 19, they will get their wish to lock horns.

Establishing consistency and generating momentum are two of the apparent objectives for both middleweight stalwarts.

Itsuki Hirata
Itsuki Hirata is scheduled to face Korean fighter See Hee Ham at ONE 163. ONE Championship photo

Okami has had a tough run of results since directing his career path to ONE Championship in 2019, while Aung La N Sang has dropped three of his last four assignments.

The promotion has likewise confirmed that Itsuki Hirata and ex-flyweight title challenger Yuya Wakamatsu will be part of the upcoming ONE 163 to go up against a pair of tough South Korean opposition.

Hirata will battle No. 2-ranked atomweight and UFC veteran Seo Hee Ham, while Wakamatsu will duke out with Woo Sung Hoon in a duel of heavy hitters.

Coincidentally, ONE 163 is headlined by their compatriot in the form Hiroko Akimoto, who defends the ONE bantamweight kickboxing championship opposite Thai veteran Petchtanong Petchfergus.

Shinya Aoki
Shinya Aoki will square off against Saygid Izagakhmaev of Russia at ONE 163. Getty Images