Interview: ONE’s Colbey Northcutt ready for return after fightless 2020

When ONE Championship flyweight Colbey Northcutt steps into the cage on April 28 to fight Sovannahry Em, she will have gone more than 17 months without a fight. Originally scheduled to fight in March of last year, COVID-19 derailed the talented striker’s 2020.

She will fight on the UFC on TNT 4 card in Singapore, a big chance to prove herself to a global audience.

“ONE’s talent is so remarkable and I’m so excited now that they are coming into the U.S. market,” Northcutt told Fight Night Picks’ John Hyon Ko in a recent interview. “Everyone will see how great ONE Championship’s athletes really are.”

Northcutt spoke to JHK about her transition to Team Alpha Male, the style differences between her and Em and the return of Miesha Tate in a 20-minute interview.

For the past two months of her fight camp, Northcutt trained out of Sacramento with Alpha Male. With COVID restrictions in California, it was difficult for her to find training partners out of the Treigning Lab in Los Angeles. So she headed north at a gym known for its premier fighters. There, she found talented UFC prospect Cory McKenna, a perfect fit to ready for Em.

“She’s giving me a great look,” Northcutt said. “She’s very detailed and a very hard worker.”

Northcutt (1-1) anticipates Em (4-1) to try to get inside her lanky 5-foot-9 frame and work the takedowns.

“I’m anticipating that and I’ll be ready for it,” said Northcutt, noting that wrestling is the ultimate advantage in MMA. “If your movements are not good enough, the wrestlers will ultimately control the fight.”

Northcutt has worked hard at improving her ground game at Team Alpha Male, but knows she truly excels in the standup with a 72-inch reach.

“That’s where I’m most comfortable,” she said. “But I do feel confident on the ground, and if it happens to go there, I’ll get to showcase I’m more of a well-rounded fighter than people think.”

Northcutt was scheduled to fight on the same card as her brother, Sage. But Sage withdrew from the fight with Shinya Aoki due to lingering effects of COVID-19.

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