Sage Northcutt out of One Championship bout against Shinya Aoki

April was supposed to be a big month for One Championship as they looked to increase interest in the US market. Last week, the Singapore-Based MMA promotion held their first primetime event on TNT. 

One had their two biggest US stars fighting in former UFC champions Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez. One had to be hoping for big performances out of the American stars, but the performances left much to be desired.

In the first round, Eddie Alvarez was disqualified due to shots to the back of the head of his opponent. Next up was the former UFC flyweight champion and all time great, Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson.

Johnson was looking to become the One flyweight champion. However, Adriano Moraes had different plans and ended up stopping Johnson in the second round. That was the first stoppage loss in the career of Mighty Mouse.

The next big event for One in the US featured MMA legend Shinya Aoki (46-9, 1 NC) and the popular American, Sage Northcutt (11-3). Sage Northcutt was the first fighter to ever get a UFC contract from Dana White’s Looking for a Fight.

Northcutt had an up and down UFC career before the promotion let him walk in free agency. Northcutt signed with One Championship and was knocked out, but his return was being hyped by the promotion to the American fans.

One Championship’s Rough Start

Today, we learned that the fight is off. ESPN was the first to report that Sage Northcutt is having to pull out of his upcoming bout against Shinya Aoki. Northcutt is having to pull out due to lingering issues from COVID-19.

With that, One is having to pivot and they have decided to leave Aoki on the card. Per ESPN’s Marc Raimondi, Aoki will now take on Eduard Folayang (22-10) on the April 28th card.

This matchup is actually a trilogy fight and both men hold a finish over the other. For having to scramble, this is actually a really good fight for One Championship to put on.

UFC Veteran John Lineker will be making his third appearance in One Championship against Stephen Loman on April 28th. Lineker is 2-0 in the promotion with a TKO in his last fight.

One Championship books Sage Northcutt – Shinya Aoki

It’s looking like the month of April could be an exciting month for One Championship. Early on in the month, Demetrious Johnson will be taking on Adriano Moraes for the One Championship flyweight title. That bout takes place on April 7th.

Today, we learned that there is another intriguing matchup that has been booked by One Championship. ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reported today that Sage Northcutt (11-3) will be taking on Shinya Aoki (46-9, 1 NC).

This matchup will take place in the lightweight division for One, however, it’s worth noting that lightweight is actually 170 pounds. So, for the traditional fans, the fight will take place at welterweight.

The fight will be just the second appearance in One Championship for Sage Northcutt. Northcutt rose to fame after being the first main fighter from Dana White’s Looking For a Fight to earn himself a UFC contract.

“Super” Sage Northcutt was only 19 years old when he earned himself that contract. The UFC was building him up as the next big thing, however, it just never panned out. While Northcutt had some highlights in the UFC, he never quite could get into that elite tier.

Following a three-fight win streak, the UFC decided not to renew Northcutt’s contract. Northcutt signed a deal with One Championship and made his debut back in 2019. He was knocked out by Cosmo Alexandre. Northcutt suffered multiple bone breaks in his face and hasn’t fought since.

One Championship’s Interesting Matchmaking

Standing across from Northcutt on April 28th will be an MMA legend in Shinya Aoki. Aoki is a legend when it comes to MMA in Asia. Outside of Pride, Aoki has held a world championship in every major organization.

He’s become a world champion in One Championship, Dream, and Shooto. Aoki is known his great ground game which he has shown off throughout his career. Out of his 46 professional victories, 29 of them have come via submission.

Currently, Aoki is riding a three-fight win streak in One Championship. He normally competes at 155 pounds, but he will be moving up to take this fight against Sage Northcutt. In all honesty, I really don’t know what to expect from this matchup. It’s fascinating on paper, but I’m not sure how this will go down.