Aoki was set to take on Sage Northcutt in a 170-pound match in the final MMA bout of the card, but it was announced by the broadcast during the event that Northcutt had to withdraw “unforeseen circumstances with his cornermen”. Lineker, who stepped on the scale at 151 pounds as an unannounced replacement, took his spot.
A much larger and taller Aoki, nearly 20 pounds heavier than the Brazilian the morning before, didn’t have trouble imposing his game on Lineker, who eventually had the grappling wizard working on his back and securing a rear-naked choke to force the tap. The defeat snapped Lineker’s two-fight winning streak at bantamweight, with Aoki rebounding from back-to-back stoppage losses.
Northcutt announced on his social media that both his cornermen were denied visa entering the country, so he decided against competing.
“I’m sorry to all my fans and to my opponent Shinya Aoki for not fighting tonight,” Northcutt wrote. “There were some last-minute visa issues with two of my coaches and they are on their way back to the US right now. ONE Championship offered to help by giving me a world champion jiu-jitsu coach for a replacement, but not having my coaches that I trained my whole camp with out there with me to compete against arguably the worlds greatest MMA submission artist of all time wasn’t going to be best for me. Thank you Chatri and ONE Championship for trying your best to make things work at the last minute. Again I apologize to Shinya and everyone that was tuning in. I know that One 165 is an incredible card with incredible world class talent that everybody will still enjoy.”
Fellow Japanese legend Yoshihiro Akiyama competed against Nieky Holzken in a mixed rules contest where the opening round was boxing rules only, followed by muay thai rules, and finally full MMA in the third. Unfortunately for Akiyama, he didn’t went past the opening stanza, losing in under two minutes by stoppage.
The penultimate MMA clash of the night had Garry Tonon securing the biggest victory of his career in under one round, tapping former ONE champion Martin Nguyen with a rear-naked choke and pocketing a $50,000 bonus.
Check the complete ONE 165 results below.
Superlek Kiatmoo9 def. Takeru Segawa via unanimous decision [kickboxing]
Kade Ruotolo def. Tommy Langaker via unanimous decision [grappling]
Shinya Aoki def. John Lineker via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 1, 3:00
Nieky Holzken def. Yoshihiro Akiyama via TKO — Round 1, 1:40 [custom rules]
Marat Grigorian def. Sitthichai via TKO — Round 3, 1:20 [kickboxing]
Garry Tonon def. Martin Nguyen via submission (rear-naked choke) — Round 1, 4:41
Ayaka Miura def. Itsuki Hirata via unanimous decision
Yuya Wakamatsu def. Danny Kingad via unanimous decision
Rade Opacic def. Iraj Azizpour via unanimous decision [kickboxing]
Bokang Masunyane def. Keito Yamakita via unanimous decision
Gustavo Balart def. Hiroba Minowa via split decision