But on May 5th he’s back – and his return will coincide with another big moment as ONE makes its on-site debut in the US – hosts of the event from Colorado.
Northcutt is understandably excited about the prospect. “Oh man, tell you what, it feels so good to be back. It’s been a while. I really wanted to go back,” he said.
“Not only that, getting the fight in the United States, the first US card for ONE Championship, I couldn’t be more excited.
“You have an incredible fighter Demetrious Johnson leading the map so the map is going to be super exciting, especially for the first map in the US I’m so excited.”
Still only 26 years old, he has a life ahead of him when it comes to MMA and is ready to build on his 11-3 overall record.
“At the age of 26 I am still very young and am looking forward to a long and successful career. I feel like I’m just starting out and I’m still young enough to have a lot of fights.
“A lot of people will think, ‘Hey, Sage might have some rust on the ring.’ It’s been three and a half years. It’s a little time. But I trained, I stayed sharp.
“I feel like I’ve improved in many different areas. I look forward to showing it.”
Opponent Ahmed Mujtaba will not be a weakling. With a 9-2 aggregate record, he has had two impressive stoppage wins in his last two games and will look to make his mark with a high-profile win on May 5.