Sage Northcutt made his return to MMA at ONE Fight Night 10 on May 5th, 2023 and he came back in style with an impressive heel hook finish in the very first round. Northcutt was taking on Ahmed Mujtaba on the main card of the event and he was eager to get back in the win column after suffering a brutal loss in his ONE Championship debut back in 2019. He took the MMA world by storm a few years ago when he put together a 5-0 professional record and earned a UFC contract, eventually going on a 5-2 run in the promotion before they parted ways.
That’s when he started his ONE Championship career and made his debut against Cosmo Alexandre, getting knocked out in the first round. It was a savage knockout that derailed his career as he suffered eight facial fractures that required surgery and a long recovery period before he could get back in action. Northcutt has been able to return to MMA for a while now but has had fights fall through after being booked recently. That’s when the promotion decided to book him against Ahmed Muhtaba at ONE Fight Night 10, where he would finally be stepping back in the cage after almost exactly four years away from the sport.
Northcutt came out strong at the start of the fight and fired off a few head-kicks, but Muhtaba looked unphased and tried to stand and strike with him. Northcutt was managing the distance well at first but got clipped with a stiff jab that caused him to stumble and Muhtaba followed that up with a takedown to secure top position. Northcutt managed to get to retain half-guard and held position briefly, but as Muhtaba postured up to land shots he swung his leg over for a hard reap. Muhtaba stood to clear the legs but Northcutt got a bite of the heel and held outside ashi to start torquing on the knee. Muhtaba tried to roll but it was far too late and he was forced to tap in just 39 seconds of the first round.
Sage Northcutt landing that beautiful heel hook finish in his MMA return was one of many grappling highlights to come out of ONE Fight Night 10 and he earned ‘Performance of the Night’ as a result. Earlier on in the night, Tye Ruotolo outworked Reinier de Ridder in an incredibly tough matchup and one of the final matches of the night saw Mikey Musumeci retain his flyweight title with relentless submission attempts and a rear-naked choke finish.
ONE Fight Night 10 Full Results
Demetrious Johnson defeats Adriano Moraes via Decision – Unanimous
Johnson retains the ONE Championship Flyweight MMA World Championship
Rodtang Jitmuangnon defeats Edgar Tabares via Knockout – Elbow
Jitmuangnon retains the ONE Championship Flyweight Muay Thai World Championship
Musumeci retains the ONE Championship Flyweight Submission Grappling World Championship
Stamp Fairtex defeats Alyse Anderson via Knockout – Body Kick
Zebaztian Kadestam defeats Roberto Soldic via Knockout – Punches
Sage Northcutt defeats Ahmed Mujtaba via Submission – Heel Hook
Jackie Buntan defeats Diandra Martin via TKO – Punch
Kairat Akhmetov defeats Reece McLaren via Decision – Unanimous
Ok Rae Yoon defeats Lowen Tynanes via Decision – Unanimous
The full ONE Fight Night 10 event, including Sage Northcutt making his MMA return with a heel hook submission win, is available to watch on the official ONE Championship YouTube channel: