‘I Want To Be A Complete Athlete’ – Sage Northcutt Thrilled With Submission Victory Over Ahmed Mujtaba

Sage Northcutt Ahmed Mujtaba ONE Fight Night 10 41

While nobody knew for sure what Sage Northcutt would look like in his return to the Circle after a four-year layoff, no one could’ve predicted what transpired on Friday, May 5.

The multiple-time Karate World Champion submitted Ahmed Mujtaba via heel hook in just 39 seconds at ONE Fight Night 10: Johnson vs. Moraes III on Prime Video. By doing so, he dispelled any talks of ring rust and proved he’s still a force to be reckoned with in ONE Championship’s lightweight ranks.

Northcutt was thrilled with his victory at Colorado’s sold-out 1stBank Center, and he believes he owes it all to the disciplined preparation he put in ahead of his highly anticipated comeback.

The 27-year-old American said:

“One of the big things was the mindset. Of course, I’ve been training to stay sharp, but when I go out there, I’m looking for a finish.

“I’ve been training with a great team and great coaches. We’ve been working all around to be very well-rounded and fix the holes in my game. [I’ve been] staying in the gym, staying sharp.”

A frantic start saw Northcutt hit the deck after Mujtaba shot in behind a solid jab, but the Team Alpha Male athlete quickly capitalized.

He entangled “Wolverine’s” legs when his rival tried to posture up to strike. Then Northcutt rolled into a heel hook that forced a hurried tap from the Pakistani athlete.

It was fast and furious, but Northcutt was glad he got to show off the evolving areas of his game amid the frenetic battle.

He said:

“[The fight] was definitely pretty fast. I’ve been working on my grappling a lot. The last few years, I’ve been really honing in on it. I’m really excited that I got to win by submission, and I got to show some of that grappling.

“I want to be a complete athlete out there and not just [focus on] one aspect of the sport. So down [on the ground], I was really looking for a finish.

“The mindset going in was: I want to finish my opponent and do it any way possible. I saw an opening when he stood up, so I just took it.”

Sage Northcutt Still Eager To Face MMA Icon Shinya Aoki

Fresh off a slick tapout victory, Sage Northcutt wants to face former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki – the promotion’s leading submission finisher.

The pair were scheduled to meet at “ONE on TNT IV” in April 2021 until the Texas native had to withdraw, but it’s still a matchup that Northcutt’s interested in.

With Aoki’s World Title credentials and spot in ONE’s lightweight top-five rankings, he’d be the perfect foil for the rising American, who predicts a fun battle with the Japanese MMA legend in “Tobikan Judan.”

Northcutt said:

“I did have a fight set up with Shinya Aoki. I think that will be a super exciting one.

“Looking at my finish now, I think my grappling has improved a lot. I got to show some grappling. He’s a great grappler. I think that would be a real exciting match.”

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