Heading into Thursday night’s UFC Fight Night 80 in Las Vegas, 19-year-old Sage Northcutt, with only one UFC bout under his belt, was already considered one of the hottest properties in the company.
Facing Cody Pfister, he stepped into the Octagon with a fighter who was six years his senior and had more than double Northcutt’s seven professional bouts.
Northcutt was up to the task, proving that the hype train he’s riding is fueled by legitimate skill.
Pfister started fast, storming the more athletic Northcutt and taking him to the mat. Northcutt wrapped him tight from the bottom, trying not to allow any room for Pfister to ground and pound.
They continued in a struggle on the canvas for the better part of the first round, but were strangely enough stood up by the referee when Pfister was just starting to get his ground-and-pound game into gear.
Northcutt took advantage of the stand-up and immediately put Pfister on his back, securing a head-and-arm choke in the waning moments of the first round, but couldn’t close it out.
After being taken down in the round one, Northcutt was better prepared to start the second frame and stuffed Pfister’s initial attempt. As Pfister continued to pursue the takedown, Northcutt locked on a guillotine choke as he fell to his back. Sunk in deep, Pfister had no choice but to tap to the submission.
Northcutt, with the permanent grin etched across his face after the fight, said, “I’m gonna do the most that I can to make (the most of this) opportunity (in the UFC).”
With the victory, Northcutt improves to 8-0 and continues to be the hottest lightweight prospect in the company.