Sage Northcutt
Sage Northcutt plans to go 2-0 this year as he eyes a cage date with Shinya Aoki. ONE Championship


  • Sage Northcutt attained a rousing victory at ONE Fight Night 10
  • He submitted Ahmed Mujtaba with a 39-second heel hook
  • Northcutt calls out Shinya Aoki for a potential fight later this year

Sage Northcutt could not have come up with a better way to announce his return from a four-year hiatus.

The Katy, Texas resident defeated Ahmed Mujtaba in emphatic fashion on the undercard of ONE Fight Night 10, which took place at the sold-out 1stBank Center in Denver, Colorado last Friday, May 5th.

It only took 39 seconds for the 27-year-old American phenom to get the job done, forcing the Pakistani spitfire to tap with a wrenching heel hook.

"[The fight] was definitely pretty fast. I've been working on my grappling a lot. The last few years, I've been really honing on it and working on it a ton. I'm really excited that I got to win by submission and I got to show some of that grappling," Northcutt told reporters during the pre-fight press conference.

Known to be a skilled stand-up specialist due to his decorated karate pedigree, "Super Sage" was pleased to showcase a different facet of his game in the bout against Mujtaba.

"I want to be a complete athlete out there and not just one aspect of the sport. So down there, I was really looking for a finish. That was the kind of mindset going in. I want to finish my opponent and do it in any way possible. I saw an opening when he stood up, so I just took it," he shared.

Northcutt wishes to ride on the momentum of his triumphant comeback by taking on another assignment later this year. The opponent he has in mind is none other than Shinya Aoki.

"I did have a fight set up with Shinya Aoki. I think that will be a super exciting one," he said.

Both men were initially scheduled to face each other in April 2021, but Northcutt had to withdraw from the contest after dealing with health complications caused by COVID-19.

Now in tip-top condition and fresh from a morale-boosting victory, Northcutt is keen to get a piece of the former ONE lightweight champion.

"Looking at my finish now, I think my grappling has improved a lot. I got to show some grappling. He (Aoki) is a great grappler/ I think that would be a really exciting match," Northcutt stated.

Chatri Sityodtong, the chairman and CEO of ONE Championship, also believes Aoki is the best option for Northcutt.

"I think that would be a fantastic fight, so I want to make that fight. I just got to talk to Shinya. It'd be great," the promoter mentioned.

Northcutt is expected to have his hands full on the mats with Aoki, who has 30 career wins via submission.

Despite Aoki's stellar grappling credentials, Northcutt is confident he will be able to prepare for it with the help of his coaches and stablemates at Urijah Faber's Team Alpha Male.

"We've been working all around to be very well-rounded and fix the holes in my game. Just been really staying in the gym, staying sharp," he stressed.

With rumors that ONE Championship will hold a fight card in Japan this December, it makes the most sense to have an Aoki-Northcutt encounter as one of its feature attractions.

Sage Northcutt
Sage Northcutt prevailed over Ahmed Mujtaba at ONE Fight Night 10. ONE Championship