Sage Northcutt (ONE Championship)

Sage Northcutt Has Sights Set on Shinya Aoki

“Super” Sage Northcutt returned in a big way at ONE Fight Night 10 in May, and he is looking to follow it up against a former ONE Championship lightweight MMA king. 

For more than a year, polar opposite personalities have collided for Northcutt and Shinya Aoki. And, as 2024 nears, the American has made it clear that he is still looking forward to square off with the Japanese legend inside the Circle. 

“Yeah, absolutely [I still want that fight]. We had it in the works before I had my last fight with Ahmed. We had it set and he said he still wants it. I think we should do it,” Northcutt told ONE


“I’ve been really focused on Shinya since after my last fight. Post-fight when we talked with all the media, it got brought up by someone out there saying, ‘How about you and Shinya?’ And it got brought up that it might possibly be the next thing. So since then, I’ve just been thinking about that.” 

Not only do their personalities clash, but so do their in-ring styles. And that is another reason that Northcutt believes fans would get excited for the lightweight MMA showdown. 

While no contract has been signed, it is evident that the 27-year-old is preparing for a collision with “Tobikan Judan” should the opportunity arise. 

“I think that fight [with Aoki] is one a lot of fans want to see. A top grappler and former World Champion versus a striker – and I’ve worked on my grappling a ton – so it’s going to be super exciting,” the Sacramento resident remarked. 

“I had quite a few years off, and I came back in my last fight, won by submission in the first round, and now I’m going to be possibly fighting Shinya. He’s one of the top guys in the division. He was one of the longest-reigning World Champions for ONE Championship. That’s a big one.” 

“I’m obviously going out there to try to win and finish my opponent. So I guess we’ll see after the fight.” 

After being away from action for so long, Northcutt’s return offered an immediate impact in a jam-packed division. So much so that recent lightweight contenders, like Maurice Abevi, are calling him out. 

He isn’t letting that attention cloud his vision, however. The karate prodigy is blunt about who he wants – and it’s only Aoki. 

“It’s cool. People call other people out, but I got my focus on one fight at a time. So right now, I’m focused on fighting Shinya,” Northcutt said. 

“He’s the former champion. He’s nobody to look over. That’s a big fight. I’m excited for that one. Hopefully, we get that here soon.” 

“Having your focus on what’s in front of you is the most important thing.”