The competition between the UFC and ONE Championship is back, and this time, it’s taking the form of athletes comparing the two rival promotions. One of those fighters happens to be Sage Northcutt, who has practically done a 180-degree turn from his previous career trajectory. There was one point where Northcutt was accused by many fans of benefiting from UFC favoritism and being shielded by the organization from hard fights, and now, Northcutt is out of the UFC entirely and is set to debut in roughly two months for ONE.
Last week, Northcutt spoke about the differences between the two promotions and seemed to favor ONE when it came to talking about the difference in attitudes.
“You don’t see… at least I haven’t seen any fighters in ONE Championship ever talking smack or talking bad about each other. Or if one of the fighters doesn’t do good out there, the CEO of ONE Championship or any of the people that work for ONE Championship talk bad about the fighters because of the performance,” Northcutt said, obviously taking a jab at Dana White. It’s a sentiment shared by certain segments of the MMA fanbase, who feel like White has stood in the way of helping the UFC become a more mainstream sports league.
“They know what it takes to get out there, how much energy it takes, and we’re always trying to go out there and perform great. I think that’s the big thing: that everybody has respect for each other.”
Northcutt seems to be enjoying life in his new promotion but hasn’t made a debut yet. We’ll all have to wait and see if Northcutt can be a winner following a change of scenery, but things look good based on his record of 3-0 in his last three fights before leaving the UFC. Those were wins against Michel Quinones, Thibault Gauti, and Zak Ottow. His first opponent in ONE will be Cosmo Alexandre, who has more experience behind him but has a background in kickboxing rather than MMA with a 69-19-1 record in the former compared to a 7-1 MMA record.
The fight is scheduled for May 17, when ONE Championship will head to the very familiar Singapore Indoor Stadium for their Rise of Warriors event. Currently, Northcutt vs Alexandre is the only fight confirmed for the card.
Sports writer and photographer in Buffalo, originally from Jersey. Fan first.