In his first fight in four years, Northcutt had the bounce-back performance he needed, and submitted Pakistani BJJ Brown Belt Ahmed Mujtaba (10-4) with a crafty heel hook in the opening round of their contest. Meanwhile, adding to the significance for the American fighter, ONE Fight Night 10 on Prime Video took place in Broomfield, Colorado, which served as the home for the organization’s debut on American soil.
Northcutt made his ONE debut in 2019 on the tail end of a 3-fight win streak in the UFC. Unfortunately, his momentum was stopped dead in its tracks when he met the receiving end of a right hook from Cosmo Alexandre at the 29-second mark of the first round. The punch floored Northcutt and the action was waved off immediately.
— ONE Championship (@ONEChampionship) May 17, 2019
The knockout blow in the fight with Alexandre unfortunately left Northcutt requiring a quite extensive surgery to reconstruct the left side of his face. The required surgery and recovery time to correct eight broken bones in his face of course contributed to the Katy, Texas native taking a leave from active competition.
But, after four years away, Northcutt made his way back into the cage to face Mujtaba at ONE Fight Night 10 in Colorado. After the initial scare of getting dropped by a jab in the early seconds of the match, Northcutt went to work from his back. Upon his opponent standing up to break away from the guard and gain some space, Northcutt began to engage in a leg entanglement. Mujtaba attempted to turn away from the attack with a corkscrewing motion, but Northcutt followed the turn, tightened his grip, and finished the outside heel hook.
Sage Northcutt returned in a big way as he secured a heel hook finish over Ahmed Mujtaba in just 39 seconds at #ONEFightNight10.🔥
— MMA Orbit (@mma_orbit) May 6, 2023
In addition to an illustrious career in competitive Karate, and a solid amateur MMA run, Northcutt has an overall professional record of 12-3 with 9 finishes. In the UFC, he achieved six wins in eight fights and currently sits at 1-1 in ONE Championship.
Despite the setback of the face surgery he underwent following his ONE debut, and the four-year layoff that followed, Northcutt is still only 27 years old and could have many more fighting years ahead of him.
On January 28th, Northcutt will square off with Pride FC legend Shinya Aoki at ONE:165 in Tokyo, a fight he called for following his latest victory. Headlining the event, Muay Thai superstar Rodtang Jitmuangnon will square off with K-1 Japan phenom Takeru Segawa in a kickboxing match.