American lightweight and welterweight standout “Super” Sage Northcutt says that he is gearing up for an early 2019 debut for ONE Championship.
The 22-year old Texas native appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on 11 December, ten days after his signing was officially announced, and talked about a myriad of topics, among them his highly-anticipated debut for the Singapore-based promotion.
“I was talking about it being February 22nd, so I don’t have anything signed yet on which date it will be, but I believe it will be February 22nd in Singapore,” said “Super” Sage.
Northcutt, who is 11-2 in his professional career, added that he will be stepping into the ONE Championship cage as a welterweight competitor.
“The weight classes are different, it’s really cool, I would be in the welterweight weight class, but it goes from 170 to 185, I believe.”
Northcutt will be following in the footsteps of another big name North American star in former ONE Welterweight World Champion Ben “Funky” Askren, who drew some flak for choosing to sign with ONE over other North American promotions.
The main criticism, as Helwani pointed out, was the perceived lack of eyeballs that were on ONE Championship and Asian mixed martial arts at the time.
Northcutt beamed with confidence, however, as he said that he felt he would have been on peoples’ radars, regardless of where he chose to go.
“I think no matter where I would have gone or whatever I do, I think that me, as a person, my brand, and myself is going to continue to keep growing and getting better. I’m going to get better as a fighter and I think that wherever I’m at, I’ll be seen.”
“I think it’s going to be great going to Asia, and gaining a whole new set of followers,” he added.
Northcut joins former multiple-time lightweight world champion Eddie Alvarez, former flyweight world champion Demetrious Johnson, and Japanese-Korean icon Yoshihiro Akiyama as ONE Championship’s big signings in the last few months of 2018.
Along with Alvarez and Johnson, Northcutt is expected to be part of ONE’s push to tap the North American market as well.
“If ONE Championship comes to America, then that’ll be great also because it’ll be both sides of everywhere, pretty much the whole world. I think it’s going to be something really great,” Northcutt said.
“They did just pick up Demetrious Johnson and Eddie Alvarez, those are definitely some great Americans right there.”
Northcutt, who’s widely regarded as one of the nicest people in the industry, expressed his excitement with being a part of a company that he says shares the same set of beliefs as he does.
“I think with the amount of followers that they have and the amount of views and viewership and the way the organization is put together, it’s really about true martial arts and respect and honor and that’s how the Japanese culture, the Asian culture, they’re all about the honor and integrity and I really like that. That’s kinda like where I stand as a person, having honor and integrity and they stand on the same set of beliefs that I do.”
Northcutt will definitely be one of ONE’s most highly-anticipated debutants for 2019.Published 12 Dec 2018, 19:14 IST