Sage Northcutt won’t be back this month.
MMA Fighting confirmed to ONE Championship officials that Northcutt was forced to withdraw from an upcoming £ 170 fight with Shinya Aoki (46-9, 1 NC) at the ONE on TNT on April 28 due to persistent COVID-19 symptoms. Edward Folajang (22-10) will replace Northcutt.
Northcutt’s father Mark told MMA Fighting that one of Northcutt’s symptoms is that he is dealing with blood clots.
His departure and new match were first announced by ESPN and then officially announced by ONE:
ONE also released the following statement regarding Northcutt’s situation:
Due to ongoing problems with COVID-19, doctors barred Sage Northcutt from competing on April 28.th ONE on TNT IV. This is disappointing for ONE, Turner, but most importantly, Sage and his family as they have been looking forward to it and have spent months preparing. Sage had COVID a few months ago and was struggling to get well, but at the end of last week, the doctor was unable to clear it during a final check-up.
Northcutt was determined to compete for the first time in nearly two years after losing his ONE debut by knockout to Cosmo Alexander in just 29 seconds. The brutal finish left Northcutt with multiple facial fractures and was unable to sign up for a fight for months. He recently told MMA Fighting that COVID-19 restrictions are also delaying his return to competition.
This will be the third meeting between Aoki and Folaian, who was reportedly scheduled to meet with Yoshihiro Akiyama on April 28 before “Sexyama” withdrew due to injury. Aoki and Folajang triumph over each other: Folajang defeated Aoki by TKO in the third round in November 2016, while Aoki avenged that defeat in March 2019 with a triangle choke in the first round.
The ONE on TNT main card will air on April 28 with a delay of 10 p.m. ET in the United States.
Guilherme Cruz contributed to this report.