Twenty-two-year-old prospect Sage Northcutt made his UFC debut in October 2015 after impressing UFC president Dana White while competing in Legacy FC. The bout later appeared on an episode of the reality series Dana White: Lookin for a Fight.
Prior to his promotional debut at UFC 192, Northcutt had never fought in the lightweight division.
At UFC Fight Night 133 on July 14, Northcutt may have had his best Octagon appearance, taking out veteran welterweight Zak Ottow by second-round knockout in the fight card’s co-main event. It was his first win in the 170-pound weight class with the fight promotion. He attributed the win to hard work, Team Alpha Male, and competing at his optimal weight.
“Getting to fight at my natural weight, that was huge for me. I’ve had such a tough time making weight at 155 all the time. I’d make the weight, but I don’t feel like the same kind of Sage. My power in my punches, my explosion, my speed; it just doesn’t feel the same. I always have great cardio. That’s one thing, but it’s a little different having your natural weight to be able to just keep pushing,” said Northcutt while appearing on the UFC Unfiltered podcast. “I just feel totally different out there.”
Northcutt is undefeated as a lightweight. He’s won all five of his fights at the weight class and all five were in the UFC. Despite his success in the 155-pound division, Northcutt believes that the welterweight division is where he should be competing.
“Before the UFC, I was fighting at catchweights at 165 or 170. I decided that I wanted to go to 155 to have an advantage, or try to have as much of as advantage as I could to be one of the bigger 155ers. I walk around pretty lean all the time. I thought that would be a benefit, but even though I was undefeated at 155 – I’ve won five fights in the UFC at 155 – it just kind of played a toll on my body. I don’t feel like the same kind of Sage, same kind of exciting Sage I can be, and like finishing Sage,” he said. “At 155 I don’t have that same kind of ability I don’t feel like at the moment.”
During his five fights in the 155-pound weight class, Northcutt stepped in the Octagon weighing around 20 pounds heavier. The weight cut to make 155 wasn’t just having adverse effects on Northcutt physically, it was also taking it’s toll mentally.
“At 155, I kind of feel, when I’m fighting out there, I just don’t feel like I have the right thinking ability. I kind of feel like my mind is foggy, if that makes sense. I don’t really know how to describe it. Maybe it’s the weight cut.”