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Urijah Faber Explains Sage Northcutt’s Last-Minute Exit from ONE 165 Bout


Faber claims Sage
Northcutt’s fight against Shinya Aoki
fell through due to a juxtaposition of miscommunications and divine

Northcutt was scheduled to make his long-awaited return to combat
sports against the Japanese grappling legend at
ONE Championship 165 on Jan. 28. However, it was announced
midway through the card that Northcutt pulled out because his
coaches didn’t have working visas in Japan. Northcutt was replaced
by UFC veteran John
Lineker, who was submitted 3:00 into the first round by

Because Lineker weighed in ahead of the card for no apparent
reason, there was speculation that the visa issue didn’t reveal the
whole narrative. Faber has now revealed that the cancellation of
the fight was in the works the night before the event.

“There’s a lot of misinterpretation there,” Faber told MiddleEasy. “I think if you watch [ONE CEO Chatri
Sityodtong’s] interview, he kind of said the way it was: There was
a last-minute hiccup in the visas of Fabio Prado
and Mr. Mark Northcutt, Sage’s dad.

“So, 10:30 [p.m.] in Japan, we learned that they were not gonna be
able to be in the corner. I got a message around 11:30 from Mark
that Sage was not gonna fight, and I talked to him face-to-face and
kinda got the lowdown on what was going on. There was a lot of
miscommunication and things like that. I was cleared to corner, I
was cleared to be in the corner if Sage did wanna fight.

“I didn’t actually get to talk to Sage face-to-face until about [1
p.m.] on fight day. And the general consensus was that he did not
feel comfortable fighting with a couple of different things that
had happened. He is a very big man of faith, he has a relationship
with God, and the holy spirit and felt like things weren’t adding
up for him and he didn’t feel like fighting.

“I said ‘Are you sure?’ There are a lot more details on the nuts
and bolts of the conversations that we had leading up to that
happening, and they felt like they were misled and expected to go
in there last minute.”

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