Sage Northcutt Responds To ONE Championship Fight Exit

Sage Northcutt

Sage Northcutt has a different opinion on his decision to opt out of a recent bout with Shinya Aoki.

The two were scheduled for a special bout this past January for ONE Championship. Hours before, though, officials declared Northcutt out and John Lineker in.

Aoki would go on to secure the win on the night.

During the event, it was announced that Northcutt withdrew for unforeseen circumstances with his corner. However, the former UFC fighter says that was not entire the case.

“ONE Championship is implying that I pulled out of the Shinya fight for unforeseen circumstances,” Northcutt wrote on social media (thanks to MMA Fighting for the quotes). “That is completely inaccurate. I sent ONE Championship the necessary paperwork they required to get my coaches visas 48 days ahead of the event. I was told by them over the phone and by text my main jiu-jitsu coach Fabio Prado did not need a visa since I paid for his airfare flights and trip so he was not classified as a working employee that needed a visa and that my other coach could get in as a tourist so he didn’t need one either.

“My coaches were there for almost a week, and I was not informed that two of them could not coach until hours before my match. I received a text from an unknown number that texted me for the first time that day that was a ticket salesman asking me about getting my two coaches complimentary tickets to watch my fight in the audience.

“I personally believe that ONE Championship was not going to inform me that my coaches were not allowed to corner me until I arrived at the arena to fight if I did not hear from a ticket salesman hours earlier.”

Sage Northcutt Says Many Things Led To Withdraw

Northcutt was set to make his second appearance for the promotion. He earned a win last year over Ahmed Mujtaba in 39 seconds with a heel hook.

“We were also told hours before my match that if my coaches violated the visa requirements and were caught on camera, they could be arrested and there was a 99.8 percent conviction rate on all arrests,” Northcutt wrote. “I made it clear to ONE Championship that I was not flying from America to Japan if I didn’t have my three coaches.

“I was told before I left to Japan by an executive that I would not have to fight without my coaches. They knew before I left that I would not be able to have two of my coaches. They never told me my coaches could be thrown in prison for any visa violation.”

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