Sage Northcutt was last seen in action in 2019. He was knocked out by Cosmo Alexandre in Singapore and suffered some serious facial injuries.

Northcutt would go on to contract Covid-19 and ended up spending nearly four years on the sidelines. He made his comeback at ONE Fight Night 10 in Broomfield and it could not have gone much better for the UFC veteran.

Northcutt was matched with the in form Ahmed Mujtaba at the 1stBank Centre in Broomfield. The Pakistani was coming off back to back wins and had been extremely active during his opponent’s extended absence.

Things got off to a bad start for Northcutt when he walked into a stiff jab which dropped him. After a nightmare ONE Championship debut in 2019 the 27 year old could have been forgiven for feeling that history was repeating itself.

But Northcutt made the best of a bad situation and as Mujtaba looked to throw punches from a standing position he latched onto the Pakistani’s leg. He hadn’t won by submission since 2015 but continued to crank on the leg.

Successful comeback

In the blink of an eye Mujtaba went from being the aggressor to desperately defending a heel hook attempt. He tried to twist away and pull his leg out but the submission was tight and the tap came.

The finish came at the 0:39 mark and having waited four years to make his ONE Championship return Northcutt could probably fight again next week after taking virtually no damage. He improves his record to 12-3 and will be looking towards the upper echelons of the lightweight division.

Northcutt made his ONE Championship debut as a welterweight which was probably a mistake. He looks much better suited to this division and was awarded a $50,000 USD performance bonus for his efforts.

Lost time

Northcutt emerged as a big name during his eight fight stint with the UFC. He won his final three fights in the octagon but couldn’t come to terms on a new contract and signed with ONE Championship instead.

He was expected to be a title contender at either welterweight or lightweight but four years later Northcutt has only managed to fight twice. But he is fit, healthy and back to winning ways after his win over Mujtaba.

Northcutt will be looking to make up for lost time by fighting frequently this year and it will be very interesting to see what the immediate future holds for the 27 year old.