It has been four years since we last saw Sage Northcutt compete, but the former top prospect returned at ONE Fight Night Friday.
Sage Northcutt with win in his return
Northcutt locked up a heel hook on Ahmed Mujtaba in just 39 seconds of a featured bout on the card. ONE, the Asia-based MMA promotion, was making its United States debut.
The event aired live on Amazon Prime from the 1stBank Center just outside of Denver, Colorado.
Back when we last saw Northcutt, he was on the receiving end of a vicious attack by Cosmo Alexandre that ended their fight in just 29 seconds.
That contest with Alexandre took place at welterweight, where also last fought at while competing for the UFC. Northcutt stopped Zak Ottow back in 2018, ending his run inside the Octagon with a record of 6-2.
Is Sage Northcutt still a top prospect?
It remains to be seen if Northcutt will work his way up the lightweight ladder in ONE, as that weight class includes 170 pounds.
The American is now 27 years old, so the idea of him being a “prospect” might have passed. However, if he can continue to grow and show the kinds of skills he did in a short amount of time in his return, maybe he can challenge for ONE gold.
You can also bet that the promotion is definitely going to look to capitalize on Northcutt and this win. He is a strong, good-looking fighter who is sure to be pushed by the media over there and here.
Former ONE champs with early wins
Several former ONE champions took part in early matches at ONE Fight Night 10 and came out winners.
Aung La Nsang, who has held gold in multiple weight classes, submitted Fan Rong in the second round at middleweight. Kairat Akhmetov topped Reece McLaren via decision and Ok Rae Yoon bested Lowen Tynanes by decision.
The featured bout will see Demetrious Johnson defend his flyweight title against former champion Adriano Moraes. This is the third meeting, with both holding a knockout win by flying knee over the other.