Sage Northcutt books ONE Championship return after nearly four years

For the first time in what will be nearly four years, Sage Northcutt will step into the cage for a fight.

Northcutt (11-3) has been booked for a welterweight bout against Ahmed Mujtaba (10-2) at ONE Championship Fight Night 10 in May. Promotion officials announced the matchup Monday on the heels of an initial report from Sports Illustrated.

ONE Fight Night 10 will be the promotion’s debut in the U.S. The card takes place May 5 at 1STBANK Center in Broomfield, Colo., near Denver, and streams on Amazon Prime Video. In the main event, bantamweight champion Demetrious Johnson puts his title on the line in a trilogy rematch with Adriano Moraes.

Northcutt, from Houston, made a splash early in his career with Legacy FC, when he was scouted as part of the debut episode of “Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight.” He signed to the UFC at 5-0 and won his first two fights with a TKO and submission.

Then he hit a slump with submission losses to Bryan Barberena and Mickey Gall in two of his next three. But he went on a three-fight run over eight months in 2017-2018. Although he was 6-2 in the UFC and on a streak, the UFC chose to let him go when his contract was up. Northcutt signed with ONE Championship in a high-profile move.

He made his ONE debut in May 2019, up a weight class at 185 pounds. But things ended quickly in Singapore for Northcutt. Cosmo Alexandre knocked him out with one punch in 29 seconds. A planned return in April 2021 against former champion Shinya Aoki didn’t happen for Northcutt due to his COVID-19 after-effects, and he’s remained out of action since then.

Mujtaba has fought for ONE since 2016 and is 4-2 for the promotion, including back-to-back first-round finishes. He knocked out Raahul Raju in 56 seconds nearly two years ago. Then, after a lengthy layoff, he submitted Abraao Amorim this past November.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie