But on May 5 he is back – and his return will coincide with another huge moment as ONE makes its on-ground debut in the USA – hosting the event from Colorado.
Northcutt is understandably excited about the prospect. “Oh man, I’ll tell you what, it feels so good to be back. It’s been a while. I’ve been itching to get back,” he said.
“Not only that, getting the fight in the United States, the first U.S. card for ONE Championship, I couldn’t be more excited for that.
“You have an incredible fighter, Demetrious Johnson, headlining the card, so the card’s gonna be super exciting, especially for the first card in the U.S. I’m so excited.”
Still just 26-years-old he has a lifetime ahead of him in MMA terms and is ready to build on his 11-3 overall record.
“Being 26 years old right now, I’m still extremely young, so I’m looking forward to a long and successful career. I feel like I’m just getting started, and I’m still so young that I can have a lot of fights.
“A lot of people will be thinking, ‘Hey, Sage might have some ring rust.’ It’s been three-and-a-half years. It’s a little bit of time. But I’ve been training, I’ve been staying sharp.
“I feel like I’ve improved in a lot of different areas. I’m looking forward to showing it.”
Opponent Ahmed Mujtaba will be no pushover. With a 9-2 overall record he has recorded two impressive stoppage wins in his last two outings and will be looking to make a statement with a high profile win on May 5.