Former UFC fighter Sage Northcutt has been forced out of his upcoming ONE Championship fight against Shinya Aoki due to dealing with the long-term effects of contracting COVID-19. He will be replaced by Eduard Folayang, per a report from Marc Raimondi of ESPN.
The new matchup is set to air on the promotion’s April 28th episode of “ONE on TNT.”
Before withdrawing from the fight, Northcutt was looking to compete for the first time in nearly two years. The eight-fight UFC vet lost his ONE debut in 2019, getting stopped in only 29 seconds by Cosmo Alexandre. Back then, Northcutt was entering the promotion on a three-fight win streak.
Now, the new pairing of Aoki and Folayang sees two veterans of the sport clash in their trilogy bout.
Aoki and Folayang last met in 2019, where Aoki scored a first-round arm triangle choke. Folayang had won in their previous meeting, prevailing in 2016.
Aoki, a former ONE champ and an experienced fighter with nearly two decades of experience in the sport, will be looking for his fourth consecutive win. He scored a first-round submission in his last fight, stopping James Nakashima in January.
Folayang will be hoping to snap a two-fight skid. The 36-year-old lost both his appearances last year, dropping scorecards to Pieter Buist and Tony Caruso. He has won one bout in his last five.